A PORTION of the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) has been converted into an isolation facility for individuals who test positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

The City Government inaugurated the covered court area of the CCSC, dubbed the Mega Stay-in Center, on Sunday, Aug. 8, 2021.

Its 150 beds will accommodate asymptomatic Covid-19 patients.

CCSC manager Jundel Bontuyan, in an interview on Sunday, said Acting Mayor Michael Rama had ordered him to keep the oval track open to the public.

Bontuyan said the entire CCSC will only be closed once a patient is brought to the facility.

In a separate interview, City Councilor Eduardo Rama Jr., who has been assigned to manage the Mega Stay-in Center, said the operation of the new isolation facility will depend on the number of Covid-19 cases recorded in the city.

“Hopefully, di gyud magamit (this will not be used),” said the councilor.

The Mega Stay-in Center was established in case Covid-19 cases in the city continued to rise and barangay isolation centers (BICs) could no longer accommodate new patients.

Councilor Rama said the capacity in the CCSC can still be expanded if the need arises.

He said the City has allocated a total of P5 million for the logistics in all the isolation facilities in the city, including the one at the CCSC.

The foams and beds set up at the CCSC were the ones used at the New Normal Oasis for Adaptation and a Home Complex, he said.

The acting mayor, in his speech during the inauguration, said the establishment of the Mega Stay-in Center was another measure to address the Covid-19 situation in the city.

“This whole center is another refuge, another center that will liberate the City of Cebu from the threat of this delta variant,” he said.

City Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementer of the Emergency Operations Center, earlier said admissions at existing isolation facilities in the city like the BICs have not reached a critical level.

On Sunday, Garganera, in a separate interview, said pregnant women in their trimester who test positive for Covid-19 will be housed in the Mega Stay-in Center, where a delivery room is being prepared.

Garganera said the 100 beds set up inside the the belly dancing room, gymnastic room and ballroom will cater to them.

He said midwives will be deployed in the facility.

In the last four days, three pregnant women gave birth at the BIC in City Central School, which is next to the CCSC, Garganera said.

Garganera said doctors assigned there are closely monitoring the patients and their babies.

Meanwhile, the City Government continues to look for nurses and doctors who will be assigned in the City’s isolation facilities and vaccination sites.

According to Acting Mayor Rama’s Facebook post, the City is offering a monthly salary of up to P70,000 for doctors and up to P45,000 for nurses.

He said he also asked for Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia’s assistance to help the City look for medical frontliners.

“Where are the medical staff? That is what I told Governor Gwen. Governor Gwen, the City of Cebu will prepare the beds. The City of Cebu will prepare the facilities, but help us out with this medical staff requirement,” he said.

Councilor Rama, for his part, said some applicants backed out when they were informed that they would be assigned in isolation facilities.

But isolation facilities, as well as hospitals, cannot operate without manpower, he said.

“That’s why earlier, it was emphasized (that) we really need the staff. We really need the frontliners. We really need the health care workers,” he said. (JJL)