Official pushes for ‘mega’ Covid quarantine facility in Davao

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 19 November) – The government should build a “mega” coronavirus disease quarantine facility in Davao City to address the spike in new cases in the area, an official said Wednesday.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, speaking at the meeting of the Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) Team held at the Camp Quintin Merecido of the Police Regional Office 11, said the facility was needed to contain the infection.

The isolation facility of the state-owned Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

“Last Saturday, we inaugurated the biggest mega quarantine facility in Calamba, Laguna—500-bed isolation capacity to cater the region and nearby regions,” he said.

He said a surge in Covid-19 cases in the city was expected, it being Mindanao’s biggest urban center where people normally converge for work or business, necessitating a mega quarantine facility.

“Probably here, with the help of [Public Works] Sec. [Mark] Villar, we would like to have a sort of mega-quarantine facility because Region 11, (particularly) Davao City is the hub, even people from Caraga, from Sarangani, and Cotabato [come] for treatment, and, not only that, this is a center of commercial activities so there are lots of movements and these are potential risks also to the people of Davao,” he said.

As of Nov. 18, Davao City reported a total of 5,412 cases, Davao de Oro 398, Davao del Norte 877, Davao del Sur 580, Davao Occidental 111 and Davao Oriental 401.

The region has 2,325 active cases, 5,168 recoveries and 286 deaths.

Out of the 5,412 cases in Davao City, 1,828 are active, 3,347 have recovered and 237 died.

Año said the surge in the number of cases in the city can be reversed.

“We will work hand in hand, we will work together. Right now, what Sec. Charlie [Carlito Galvez] and I are seeing that the situation here is easy to reverse. We just have to work together with LGUs (local government units), some other agencies IATF, RTF, and RIATF,” he added.

He told the law enforcers and barangay officials to focus on case clustering in the city’s coastal barangays, which saw the most number of new cases in the last 14 days.

“We need our law enforcers, our barangay officials there to focus on those areas, to make sure that we stem the transmission and take out every single positive from that area and bring him to isolation facilities,” he said.

Dr. Alethea De Guzman, of the Department of Health-Epidemiology Bureau, said most of the new cases reported in the last 14 days in the city came mostly from densely populated communities, particularly the coastal barangays.

In her presentation, Barangays Buhangin, Barangay 19-B, Talomo Poblacion, Agdao and Bucana were identified as hot spot areas. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)