South Cotabato taps new housing project as isolation center amid ‘critical’ COVID-19 situation

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 17 May) – The provincial government of South Cotabato will tap a newly-completed housing project in Tupi town as temporary isolation center for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients as the area’s situation has reportedly reached the “critical stage” due to the increasing infections.

South Cotabato Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. said Monday the municipal government of Tupi has agreed to temporarily convert at least 100 housing units at the resettlement site in Barangay Bunao as isolation facility pending their turnover to the recipients.

He was referring to the second phase of the town’s Bagong Buhay resettlement project for poor informal settlers.

The governor said Tupi Mayor Romeo Tamayo and other officials agreed to allow the use of some units to isolate patients from other localities in the province.

“They are willing to accommodate patients from other areas since they also have other existing isolation facilities,” he said in his weekly radio program “Ang Gobernador kag ang Katawhan” (The Governor and the People).

Tamayo said the provincial government has been continually expanding the area’s COVID-19 treatment and isolation facilities and looking for other options to cope with the rising locally-transmitted cases.

The province recorded 50 new infections on Sunday, bringing the active cases in the area to 538, the highest in Region 12 (Soccsksargen).

The confirmed cases in the area since last year already reached a total of 2,877, with 72 related deaths and 2,267 recoveries.

Tamayo said majority of the new infections, which included local government officials, were traced to exposure in public places and households.

He said the increase in household transmission was mainly due to the increasing number of confirmed patients who undergo home quarantine due to the limited capacity of isolation units, especially in Koronadal City.

All COVID-19 positive patients should have been transferred to government facilities to ensure their proper management and prevent household transmission, he said.

The official said the allotted beds for confirmed patients in private and public hospitals are now full and the provincial government’s treatment facilities are reeling from the lack of vital medicine supplies, especially Remdesivir.

He said the province is “currently in critical stage right now in terms of COVID-19 cases” because of these problems.

Tamayo urged residents to cooperate with their respective local government units and always comply with the health protocols as well as other preventive measures.

“We should be vigilant and always protect ourselves because our situation is really alarming right now,” he added. (MindaNews)