Davao puts up more COVID treatment, monitoring facilities

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 17 December) – The city has established more temporary treatment and monitoring facilities (TTMFs) in anticipation of a surge in virus cases, as more people are expected to move around for Christmas and New Year revelries, Davao City Health Office COVID-19 focal person Ashley Lopez said.

The training gym of the Davao City – University of the Philippines Mindanao Sports Complex in Mintal, Davao City has been converted to a 132-bed Covid-19 isolation facility. MindaNews Photo taken on 22 May 2020 by MANMAN DEJETO

In an interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Wednesday, Lopez said Sta. Ana National High School and Hotel Midori on Governor Duterte Street in Poblacion District have been opened as TTMFs.

This brought to 23 the total COVID-19 facilities in the city with a capacity for over 2,000 persons.

Out of the 23 facilities, 14 are intended for isolation and nine as holding areas, he said.

“As reported as of December 15, we have a utilization rate of 65%. This means we are still under the yellow color, not yet in the pink or red. We’re not yet at the critical level,” he said.

Lopez added the local government will open two additional TTMFs to further increase the total COVID-19 beds.

“I will not disclose the names but that is already ongoing, in anticipation of possible – cross-finger – surge this Christmas season,” he said.

As of December 16, Department of Health-Davao reported a total of 11,072 COVID-19 cases in the region, with 2,009 active ones, 8,624 recoveries, and 439 deaths.

Of the total cases, Davao City reported 7,767, Davao de Oro 555, Davao del Norte 1,323, Davao del Sur 806, Davao Occidental 122, and Davao Oriental 499.

The city reverted to general community quarantine (GCQ) from modified GCQ last November 20 to 30.

The GCQ status has been extended until the end of this year.

Lopez said the city started seeing fewer active cases with more recoveries beginning early part of this month compared to the second half of November.

“On the optimistic side, we’ve seen a downtrending with our daily analysis. The more recoveries we have, the lesser deaths we have, and eventually we can slowly overcome active cases,” he said.

He said it is important to manage the active cases to avoid more deaths.

He said more aggressive contact-tracing efforts are necessary to test close contacts for possible infection.

“Aside from the index case or the positive case, we are also investigating direct contacts, particularly  persons who live in the same households, their workmates, and the persons with whom they have interacted for the past several days. These are considered direct contacts. As a policy, we need to swab them… to address the problems and eventually control COVID cases in Davao,” he added. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)