Sto. Niño Hospital opens April 14 for Covid-19 patients

STO. Niño Hospital is set to start accepting coronavirus disease (Covid- -19) patients on April 14 after weeks of preparation.

Baguio City Mayor Benjie Magalong said he is glad to have an exclusive and dedicated hospital for Covid-19 cases.

Preparations for the building, facilities, manpower and other aspects went full swing last week after the community dialog and assurance from owners on the free use of the facility.

Saint Louis University Hospital of the Sacred Heart will lead the management and operations of the hospital with Medical Director Dr. Paul Adlai Quitiquit helping identify needs of the facility, which the city is working on, as applications to operate the facility is being processed with the Department of Health.

"Our preparations on services, equipment, manpower and other logistics are also ongoing. We are currently finalizing our draft proposal to the city for the operation of the new center," Quitiquit said.

The facility, which ceased operations in 2009, has a 36-bed capacity.

Magalong said a third party will certify that the facility passed the standards before the first patient can be brought in to pacify fears of residents on safety and health.

"They [residents] feel endangered sila. We have to understand them and give them assurance that we will do everything to keep them safe. We will have the hospital evaluated. Magdadala tayo dito ng experts para check kung tama ang system na naitayo natin and para I check kung sigurado ba sila na wala ma apektuhan sa labas," said Magalong.

The exclusive critical care unit will enable the city to segregate Covid-19 patients from non-Covid-19 patients and free the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center and other hospitals from contamination risks.

Doctors and experts on infectious diseases had assured the facility will be protected and contained to avoid danger to the community.

City Administrator Bonifacio Dela Peña said the city will install proper solid and liquid waste disposal, fire prevention, sewer, electrical, plumbing and security systems in the building.

Medical and housekeeping facilities and manpower will again be pooled from the various hospitals, DOH, and the city government.

Meanwhile, Padre Burgos chief Bonifacio Bustos asked for support for government efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Bustos, during a dialog with residents last week, took the chance to implore for understanding and cooperation from his constituents and revealed there are residents caught gambling, drinking and children allowed to play basketball at the courts despite efforts to keep social contact at a minimum amidst the Luzon wide Enhanced Community Quarantine.

The village official said there are barangay residents under monitoring from travels to countries like Singapore, India, and UAE which he chose to divulge during the dialog, adding names and locations of these residents have been taken down and contact tracing has also begun.

Bustos said with the information divulged to residents, he hopes a strict adherence to guidelines will be taken into consideration that 80 percent of the area is comprised of boarding homes where many share in one room.

During a dialogue Saturday, Bustos asked for compliance and understanding for efforts to deter transmission of Covid-19 in the city.

The dialog was attended by Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong who appealed to residents in the area to understand the move to use the former Sto. Niño Hospital as a Covid-19 facility as owners of the former hospital has agreed to open the facility.

Bustos said the security of the area has to be assured 24/7, as well as proper guidelines by the health department to prevent the spread of the virus to the immediate neighborhood if Covid-19 positive patients are admitted to the facility. (With a report from Baguio City Public Information Office)


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