NegOr Covid-19 isolation facility ready to operate

The coronavirus disease (Covid-19) facility of the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital (NOPH) here is ready to operate soon now that the project was formally turned over on Monday.


Assistant provincial health officer Dr. Liland Estacion on Tuesday in an interview said while the facility is a separate structure from the NOPH, it no longer requires accreditation or other permits from the Department of Health (DOH).


“Initially, we were told (that) this is a separate thing kay lain nga building (because it is a different building) but we were told that it is an extension of the provincial hospital,” Estacion said.


She said there are still a few refinements needed before the facility can be fully operational, “kay gahapon ang atong gigamit gen set pa man (we were using a generation set yesterday)” while waiting for the electrical connection from the Negros Oriental Electric Cooperative II (NORECO II).


Gov. Roel Degamo led Monday’s inauguration of the project, along with Vice Gov. Edward Mark Macias, Dumaguete Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo, Estacion, Integrated Provincial Health Officer 2 Dr. Henrissa Calumpang, and other NOPH and provincial government officials.


Calumpang said Degamo has again proven to the people of Negros Oriental that health is number one among his priority programs in the province.


Degamo, meanwhile, said “dili matukib ang kalipay nga akong gibati (how I felt was indescribable) with the realization of this dream to build an isolation facility for the people of Negros Oriental.”


However, the governor said the facility is in preparation only for worse case scenarios and that he would rather see the facility empty of Covid-19 patients.


Funded by half of the Bayanihan grant to the province of PHP98 million, the isolation facility costs PHP46 million, and construction completed in 60 days to beat the deadline on Sept. 16, 2020, as provided for in the Bayanihan Act Heal as One program.


Estacion in her short message said, “Daghan kaayong luha nga nausik nako ani nga proyekto” (So many tears were wasted for this project) in fighting for it to be realized, citing several invitations to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan that caused delays in the approval of the project.


She, however, believes the Sanggunian merely wanted to make sure the funds are spent well.


One particular feature worth mentioning about the facility is that all the 34 rooms are equipped with negative pressure machines to protect the front-liners such as doctors, nurses, and midwives from contracting the virus.


The isolation facility is made of reinforced concrete materials designed to last for many years being a permanent structure, oxygen lines, and suction lines embedded, all rooms are air-conditioned, and all doors are made of bio-steel all imported from China, according to the contractor, PhilSouth builders, led by Louie Tijing.


Tijing said the flooring is made of homogenous vinyl tiles for hospitals.


The facility is equipped with a 24-hour backup generator that can power the whole electro-mechanical system costing PHP1.4 million while all rooms are equipped with Closed Circuit Television cameras that can be monitored in the central monitoring system.


It also has a centralized supply of oxygen and also has a cadaver holding area, Tijing said.


The contractor also said the facility has complied with all the DOH requirements and can immediately operate with the clearance of the agency.


Estacion said the basic concept of the negative pressure machines is to suction the virus through the filters and already clean as soon as it is released into the air.


She said only moderate to severe Covid-19 patients will be admitted at the isolation facility while the asymptomatic will still be placed in the current isolation ward of the NOPH.


Source: Philippines News Agency


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