Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, Cebu City’s COVID-19 response overseer, considers relocating all isolation facilities from barangays to the coastal area.
Cimatu said in an interview with Unang Balita on Wednesday that he suspects the quarantine facilities’ location contributes to the spread of COVID-19 in Cebu City.
“Talaga dapat lang naman ilipat ‘yung mga isolation (facilities) kasi may mga isolation center sila rito sa gitna ng kanilang barangay, usually sa mga eskuwelahan, elementary schools,” he said.
(We need to relocate the isolation facilities because they have an isolation center in the middle of the barangay, usually inside schools, elementary schools.)
“Ang suspect ko dito nanggagaling ang pag-spread ng virus. Kailangan ilikas natin dito sa malapit sa shoreline,” he added.
(I suspect this where the spread of the virus comes. We need to transfer it near the shoreline.)
Because of this, the DENR chief said New Normal Oasis for Adaptation and a Home (NOAH) Complex is now being used as an isolation facility.
“’Yan nga ‘yung sa malapit sa dagat. Isa ‘yun e. In place na ‘yun. At saka nagre-receive na sila ng mga pasyente doon,” he said.
(It is near the sea. That’s one. That’s already in place. It also received patients.)
NOAH Complex quarantine facility is a project of the local government and private sector that could house more than 300 mild to moderate COVID-19 patients. It could also accommodate doctors, nurses, and barangay health workers who will be assigned to the facility.
Retired MGen. Melquiades Feliciano, who is assisting Cimatu, earlier said the NOAH Complex also includes birthing areas for pregnant women. A wing of the facility was renovated to create space for a labor room, delivery room, and a nursery room.
Aside from NOAH Complex, the Cebu Coliseum is being offered to be utilized as a quarantine facility as well, Cimatu said.
‘Yung coliseum na ‘yan ay in-offer kasi maganda raw naman na paglalagyan. Similar to what we have done there in Metro Manila,” he said.
Cebu City is one of the COVID-19 critical areas in the Philippines. On June 30, it recorded 353 new COVID-19 cases, the highest number of new cases it reported in a single day, raising the total to 5,494.