December 4, 2022

Councilor Michael Lawana has urged the barangays to establish special care facilities or isolation units that will accommodate Covid-19 patients that are or have mild symptoms.

Lawana said the 128 barangays have yet to identify their healthcare facilities, which are supposed to decongest hospitals that are now overwhelmed with Covid-19 cases.

In Department of the Interior and Local Government Memorandum Circular 2020-064, barangays are enjoined to designate and establish Covid-19 special care facilities with the following requirements:

These special care facilities must be enclosed but well-ventilated structures, with walls, windows and doors (negative pressure is not necessary);

These can be empty houses or buildings, equipped with appropriate furniture and beds, with sufficient provisions for electricity and running water, kitchen, toilets and baths;

It should be able to accommodate as many individuals as possible, without crowding;

Every person must be kept isolated from the others within the building and may be approached only by health care workers donning the required personal protective equipment. Thus, it is necessary to have one person per bedroom, otherwise, each bed must be two meters or more apart and separated by vinyl curtains that should be disinfected with the 0.1 percent sodium hypochlorite solution or 62.71 percent ethanol at least once a day, and air-dried;

Every person should be provided with their own bed, pillow, and blanket; and

The special care facility and isolation units should, as much as possible, be situated some distance away from populated areas, but easily accessible to health care workers and other health authorities who shall monitor the status of those who shall be placed in it.

Lawana said the City Health Services Office has provided an assessment tool indicating the required location, physical plan, personnel, patient management, infection prevention and control, transport, and medicines and supplies.

Pursuant to DILG and Department of Budget and Management Memorandum Circular 1, a local government unit may use the 20 percent development fund of the barangays and quick response fund of the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management fund. – Jordan G. Habbiling