The Quezon City government has expanded its HOPE community care facilities to accommodate more children who tested positive for COVID-19 as well as their families or guardian.

According to Dr. Esperanza Arias, head of the City Health Department, the local government recently procured additional beds, oxygen tanks, and medicines for all 11 of the city’s COVID facilities.

Arias said that “family rooms” are being added across all HOPE facilities to accommodate more COVID-positive children as well as their families who may also be COVID positive or their guardians who will look after them.

“We’re adding more family rooms to avoid children being separated from their families. We want to provide optimum care and take into account the psychological wellbeing of these children as well,” said Arias, noting that only HOPE 3 and 6 had family rooms in the past.

Further, the city is recruiting more staff as the opening of three more HOPE facilities is underway.

Data from the City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU) showed that nine percent or 318 of COVID cases recorded between August 1 and 7 were children aged 17 and below.

169 or five percent are aged 0 to 11 while 149 or four percent come from the 12 to 17 year age group.

The total number of cases during this period is 293 percent higher than the 81 recorded positive cases among children last July 1 to July 7.

“One factor that cause these infections among children could be the improper way by which COVID-positive adults quarantine themselves. There are those who stay at home and do not self-report to CESU,” said CESU Chief Dr. Rolando Cruz.

The local government has recently issued guidelines where home quarantine is strictly prohibited for confirmed COVID-19 cases and symptomatic close-contacts. They must be transferred to the city’s hospitals, HOPE community caring facilities, barangay isolation facilities or national government-accredited isolation hotels. 

“We’re continuously ramping up our contact tracing efforts so every household will be safe, especially young children who are not yet able to follow minimum health protocols on their own,” said Cruz.

“But ultimately, we need everyone’s cooperation. We are appealing to anyone who is experiencing symptoms to please inform CESU immediately,” he added.

CESU can be reached via their official Facebook page and QC Contact Tracing HOTLINES 8703-2759, 8703-4398, 0916-122-8628, 0908-639-8086, and 0931-095-7737.