DPWH Davao set to complete SPMC’s modular hospital next month

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 13 Aug) – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Davao Region is set to complete next month the construction of the 44-bed capacity modular hospital at the government-run Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) here.

The Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in Davao City. MindaNews file photo by MANMAN DEJETO

Dean Ortiz, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-Davao public affairs and information officer, said on Thursday that the agency is fast-tracking the completion of the hospital since it began construction last month to support the response of the local government to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

He said P62 million was set aside to erect the facility.

He said the nearly-completed facility would have a nurse station, public address system, individual toilet bath, air-conditioning, ventilation system with high-efficiency particulate absorbing (HEPA) filters, standby generators, and a medical gas system.

“This facility will hopefully bring relief, decongesting the existing facilities of SPMC and to ensure that care is not hampered especially for COVID-19 patients,” Ortiz said.

According to the SPMC, 363 or 85.01% of the 427 COVID-19 ward beds have been occupied while 82 or 89.13% of the 92 intensive care unit beds have been used as of August 11.

Department of Health (DOH)-Davao reported a total of 58,511 cases with 7,013 active, 49,556 recoveries, and 1,903 deaths.

Out of the total cases, Davao City, the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in Mindanao, logged 32,498 cases with 3,018 active, 28,299 recoveries and 1,091 deaths. Davao de Oro tallied 4,452 cases, Davao del Norte with 11,077, Davao del Sur with 5,046, Davao Occidental with 1,346, and Davao Oriental with 4,092.

Last Monday, Mayor Sara Duterte told Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) that the anticipated Delta variant-driven surge here would be much worse compared to past surges experienced in the previous months.

But she added that the local government would adopt similar action plans such as testing, contract tracing, surveillance swabbing in high-risk areas and groups, and monitoring of influenza-like illnesses.

She said the local government would intensify contract tracing of suspected Delta cases or those persons who come from areas with high cases of Delta such as India and the National Capital Region.

Duterte added that the city is also supporting even the private hospitals to ensure that their needs are attended to, particularly supply of personal protective equipment (PPEs) for their frontline health workers.

The mayor revealed a plan to establish an oxygen plant to avoid supply shortage should the demand shoot up due to Delta variant cases.

The DOH-Davao reported eight confirmed Delta cases in the region as of August 10. Of this total, five were reported in the city. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)