Mothballed Maguindanao hospital to be converted into COVID-19 isolation center

PARANG, Maguindanao (MindaNews / 13 May) – Health authorities in the Bangsamoro region and local officials of Maguindanao have decided to convert an idle hospital into an isolation facility as the region prepares for a worst case scenario in the fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The mothballed Parang District Hospital in Maguindanao photographed on Tuesday (12 May 2020). It will be convertd into a COVID-19 isolation center. MindaNews photo by FERDINANDH CABRERA

Abandoned for decades due to financial and political issues, the 50-bed Parang District Hospital will soon be ready to accommodate suspected COVID-19 patients, according to Dr. Saffrullah Dipatuan, Bangsamoro region health minister.

At this time, the facility is not yet capable of operating as a hospital but the Ministry of Health plans to institutionalize it as a working district hospital.

The hospital will become one of the 18 COVID-19 isolation facilities in the province, according to Maguindanao Gov. Meriam Sangki-Mangudadatu.

She said the provincial government eyes to put up one COVID-19 facility in every town as the province supports the national government’s “Balik Probinsya” program.

A total of 18 of the province’s 36 towns have built their own isolation areas.

Parang Mayor Cahar Ibay lauded the decision of the province and MOH-BARMM to make Parang health-ready as it will welcome Parangenios back from other urban areas in the country.

The mayor said the hospital now has electricity and water and basic medical equipment like blood pressure apparatus and oxygen tanks.

Mohd Asnin Pendatun, head of BARMM-IATF, also welcomed the collaboration between the local government of Parang, the provincial government and the regional government, saying “we should really work as one to make sure our moves are synchronized and coordinated. (Ferdinandh Cabrera / MindaNews)