Kidapawan’s treatment facility for COVID-19 patients ready by July 1

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 27 June) — The government hospital located at the city’s commercial district here will start operations on July 1 as a treatment facility for COVID-19 patients, a local official said.

Mayor Joseph Evangelista said that after retrofitting the Kidapawan City Hospital following the series of above Magnitude 6 earthquake in the last quarter last year,  it is now ready to accommodate suspect COVID-19 patients who show mild to severe flu-like symptoms.

The hospital, according to Evangelista, suffered cracks during the earthquakes.

“It is a 30-bed capacity hospital equipped with facilities,” the mayor said, adding that it is part of their preparations on dealing with the pandemic.

Kidapawan City Mayor Joseph A. Evangelista. Photo screengrabbed from City Government of Kidapawan FB page

On Wednesday, newly-hired medical staff, including regular hospital employees, underwent training on handling potential COVID-19 patients and those manifesting flu-like symptoms.

The medical staff  composed of doctors, nurses, medical technologists and radio technologists underwent training.

Reports said the facility will be managed and supervised by Dr. Hamir Hechanova chief of the Kidapawan City Hospital.

Latest data from the Department of Health in Region 12 showed the city has registered two additional confirmed COVID-19 cases: a 20-year old male frontliner at the Cotabato Provincial Government who is quarantined at the University of Southern Mindanao Hospital in nearby Kabacan town; and an 84-year old male who was rushed to Davao City after showing severe flu-like symptoms and is now at the intensive care unit of the Southern Philippines Medical Center.

Earlier, the mayor sent a team to have a benchmarking at the Dr. Arthur Pingoy Medical Center in Koronadal City, the latest to acquire — through donation — a Genexpert Machine that can perform Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests.

He said a group is set to donate the same machine to Kidapawan City.

“If that is realized, it would be easy for us to determine COVID-19 cases in just a few hours because of the machine,” he added.

Evangelista also directed all City Hall employees who might have been exposed to two COVID-19 patients to undergo mandatory self-quarantine and refrain from reporting for work. They were are also advised to report to the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit for strict monitoring.  (Malu Cadelina-Manar / MindaNews)