To address the high number of COVID-19 cases and the full capacity of hospitals, the Quezon City government has started identifying existing buildings that can be transformed into isolation facilities.
Local government infrastructures, public school buildings, and even dormitories are currently being considered, evaluated, and retrofitted into isolation or quarantine facilities to help reduce the number of transmissions in communities and also decongest emergency rooms and other hospital facilities.
“This is the fastest way to decongest our hospitals while also mitigating further spread in the barangays. Since asymptomatic or those with mild symptoms do not need extensive medical care, they can be admitted in these facilities until their full recovery,” Mayor Joy Belmonte said.
Belmonte explained that medical workers such as nurses and doctors will also be assigned to closely monitor the patients.
The City Architect’s Office, Office of the Secretary to the Mayor, and City Health Department are continuously evaluating possible isolation sites to complete the target of 1000 new beds. Other buildings will also be used as quarters of health care workers.
Three buildings in Quezon City University will be reopened as isolation and quarantine facilities. These buildings were initially used as HOPE 2 community-quarantine facilities during the first wave of COVID-19 in the city last year.
In partnership with Philippine Red Cross, Philippine Medical Association and the Department of Public Works and Highways, the Quezon City government will transform the Kamia Residence Hall in UP Diliman Campus to a 282-bed facility which will cater to COVID-19 patients who are asymptomatic or with mild symptoms.
Meanwhile, Building D of the San Francisco High School in Bago Bantay, Barangay Sto. Cristo will also be developed into an isolation area with 4 beds in 24 classrooms.
The Quezon City government has also partnered with Ateneo de Manila University and the Philippine Red Cross in providing additional quarantine facilities in Ateneo’s Junior High School complex. Only QC government-referred patients will be allowed in this facility.
“We are grateful for the proactive participation of private organizations like Ateneo in our COVID-19 response. Through their facility, we will be able to accommodate more patients of COVID-19,” Belmonte said.
These buildings are just the initial list of identified facilities. The city government is in talks with other private organizations for the possible use of their facilities for COVID-19 patients or healthcare workers.