CEBU

Covid-19 Infirmary ‘almost ready’

FIRST RESPONSE AREA. The infirmary that will cater to mildly Covid-19 symptomatic persons who cannot be quarantined at home can accommodate around 120 patients. It is located in the basketball court of the former Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu on Gen. Maxilom Ave. in Cebu City. (SUNSTAR FOTO / AMPER CAMPAÑA)

THE infirmary intended as a first response area in Cebu that will cater to the mildly Covid-19 symptomatic persons who cannot be quarantined at home is expected to be activated next week.

The infirmary is located in the basketball court of the former Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu along Gen. Maxilom Ave. in Cebu City.

On Sunday, March 29, 2020, Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (Opav) Michael Dino with Cebu City Councilor Raymond Garcia and Regional Development Council 7 Chairman Kenneth Cobonpue met with doctors and the physical committee, including representatives of Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (Rafi), of the infirmary for its final inspection.

Dr. Tony San Juan, member of the committee on physical plan, said they have considered factors, including the air flow in the infirmary and the steps to segregate incoming patients to make sure that there will be no cross contamination among health care workers and the patients who come in.

“The last thing we want is droplet contamination so the air flow has to be in one direction. We could not have it flow to the community there because it is going to be an issue. What we figure is to have it move towards the space at the back,” he said.

To do this, he said, they have to use big industrial fans to blow the air towards the desired direction and condenser fans that set out mist (a solution of hydrogen peroxide, a non-toxic but disinfectant solution.)

Rafi and other private groups have already pledged to provide equipment the infirmary still needs.

The infirmary is divided into the yellow and red zones.

The yellow zone is for patients who are presumed to be positive but only with mild to moderate symptoms and do not need hospitalization while waiting for confirmatory test result as to whether they are Covid-19 positive.

San Juan said patients in the yellow zone will be separated by transparent partitions so they cannot contaminate each other if they have the disease.

The red zone, on one hand, is for those who already tested positive of the virus.

The infirmary also has a swabbing area, a donning and doffing area and a decontamination area for health care workers, he said.

The infirmary will not contain dense droplets, San Juan said.

Covid-19, the Department of Health said, can be passed through droplets from infected patients.

Around 30 volunteer nurses and nine volunteer doctors will need to be on duty at the infirmary, which is expected to cater to around 120 patients, for a total of three weekly shifts.

Initially, the first group of volunteer nurses and doctors will be on duty for the first week and will undergo quarantine for the next two weeks before they can go back on duty on the fourth week.

Opav and Cebu City are still working on proposals about the volunteers’ honorarium. (WBS)


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