Davao City to use Azuela Cove’s ‘The Tent’ as mega COVID vax site

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 26 May) — The City Government of Davao plans to utilize the 2,000-square meter The Tent in Azuela Cove as a mega vaccination site against COVID-19.

Dr. Ashley Lopez, acting head of City Health Office, said, in a text message on Wednesday, that they plan to open the mega COVID-19 vaccination site next month as the city targets to inoculate 10,000 residents daily.

A medical worker of the Southern Philippines Medical Center, prepares a dose of the Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac vaccine during the start of the Covid-19 vaccination program at the state-run hospital in Davao City on Friday, 5 Mar 2021. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

Lopez estimated around 1,000 people could be accommodated at The Tent daily.

He added that the city has 20 existing vaccination sites and plans to open more sites next month.

The Azuela Cove is a 25-hectare waterside development project of Aviana Development Corporation, a joint venture partnership between real estate giant Ayala Land and homegrown The Alcantara Group of Companies.

Lopez said in his program over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) Wednesday, that the city government will cater to people belonging to A3 priority list starting Monday. These include those aged 18 to 59 years with illnesses or comorbidities such as chronic respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, cerebrovascular disease, hypertension, malignancy, diabetes, obesity, chronic liver disease, neurologic disease, and immunodeficiency disease.

He said that the city is hiring 300 additional health workers to augment the vaccination teams.

Lopez expressed alarm that the current COVID-19 surge has overwhelmed the state-owned Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC),  the biggest COVID-19 referral hospital in the city for moderate, severe, and critical cases.

He called on the private hospitals in the city to open more facilities to cater to new active cases.

He said new cases in the city are fast increasing while the recovery rate is slowing down.

As of May 25, SPMC reported that its 35-bed ICU for COVID-19 have been fully occupied while 254 out of 292 isolation beds have been used, recording a utilization rate of 86.99%.

Lopez said in a separate text message, that the city government has a total of 15 isolation facilities with around 1,500 beds.

“We are encouraging our private hospitals to open up and allocate COVID beds  to accept patients who can no longer be accommodated at the SPMC,” he said.

As of May 25, Department of Health-Davao reported 271 new cases, bringing the total cases to 26,413, with 2,072 active, 23,268 recoveries, and 1,073 deaths in the region.

Out of the total, Davao City recorded 16,413 cases, with 1,111 active, 14,251 recoveries, and 739 deaths. Davao de Oro reported 1,830 cases, Davao del Norte with 4,907, Davao del Sur with 1,752, Davao Occidental with 264, and Davao Oriental with 1,559.  (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)