Hospital opens first P46M Covid Isolation Facility

A P46-millioin fully equipped isolation building ex-clusively  for 33 moderate and serious COVID pa-tients at the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital was turned over by Philsouth Builders last Monday to NOPH, the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital.

COVID IATF ground commander Dr Liland Estacion said this was funded nationally by Bayanihan to Heal-As-One Program which gave ALL LGUs half month worth of their internal revenue allotments IRA in a separate budget.

According to Philsouth Builders General Manager Mr. Louie Tijing in a statement, he said:

“This COVID-19 Facility is a one-storey isolation hospital building of the Provincial Government of Negros Oriental built inside the compound of the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital (NOPH) which contain 34 sealed rooms made of reinforced concrete walls and all equipped with negative pressure machines, oxygen and suction lines, bed head with nurse call, bio-steel doors, anti-bacterial flooring, air-conditioning units and with individual ante-room and T&B.

 “This facility is also equipped with doctors and nurses station, doffing room, donning room, disinfection room, morgue, oxygen supply and storage room, ambulance bay, CCTV cameras, back-up generator and 3-meter high perimeter fence.

“The isolation facility will be used as area of treatment for patients with COVID-19 and other communicable diseases such as meningococcemia, tuberculosis, among others.  The project cost 46M and is sourced from the national government as part of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

 “This isolation facility is designed by Philsouth Builders and built with the combined efforts of 300 personnel working round the clock in a span of 60 days.”

Negor got P98 Million corresponding to  half month worth of its IRA and so did the City Government and municipalities depending on their IRA .

Dumaguete has P43Million one-month IRA   allocation for this aside from a forthcoming Bayanihan2 funding..

Dumaguete received this “long ago” said Mayor Remollo but since there is now that City High school grounds isolation facility, the City used the money partially to buy essential anti-Covid essentials such as PEP isolaton gears, masks, medical supplies, anti biotics, vitamins, rice, noodles for thousands of poor and barangay folk and it still on-going.

Integrated Provincial Health Officer 2 Dr Henrissa Calumpang in Monday’s simple turnover ceremonies,said Community Health is now the priority of the provincial government in the wake of the six month old  pandemic .

The turnover from contractor Philsouth Builders headed by its General Manager Louie Tijing,   was graced by Vice Gov. Eduard Mark Macias and Mayor Felipe Remollo.

The governor  stressed this facility is  only for moderate and serious   case scenarios of Covid.  Of course  he prefers that this facility is empty of covid patients rather than full.

Funded by half of the Bayanihan fund of P98 million, the isolation facility costs P46 million, completed in 60 days to beat the deadline which is September 16, , as provided for in the Bayanihan Act   Heal-As-One program.

The ground commander of IATF  Dr. Liland Estacion  believes the apparent political delays in the  Sanggunian merely  indicated that the provincial board merely wanted to make sure the funds are spent well.

In that Isolation Facility  all the 34 rooms are equipped with negative pressure machines, to protect the frontliners such as doctors, nurses, midwives from inflicted with the virus.    It is made of all solid walls using reinforced concrete adopting the cast in place technology designed to last for longer years being a permanent structure, oxygen lines and suction lines are embedded, all rooms are air conditioned, using hospital-grade bio-steel doors imported from China, according to the contractor Philsouth Builders.

Tijing  said the flooring is made of anti-bacterial homegenous vinyl intended for hospital use.

The facility is equipped with a 24 hour back up generator that can power the whole electro mechanical system of the facility, all rooms are equipped with CCTV cameras that  can be monitored in the central monitoring station, it has a centralized supply of oxygen, bed head with nurse call central monitoring station, Tijing pointed out.

The contractor assured  the facility has complied with all the Department of Health requirements and can immediately operate with the clearance of DOH.

Working under pressure  Tijing deployed more or less 300 workers including 16 engineers and architects with different trades and specialization in 3 shifts, 24/7 to  beat the deadline.

The facility also has a cadaver holding area.

Bureau of Customs  facilitated in fast tracking the release of  four containers of imported equipment and materials from China that were all used on this facility during the pandemic.

Dr. Estacion  explains the basic concept of the negative pressure machines is to suction the virus through the filters and already clean as soon as it is released into the air.

She said only moderate to severe covid patients will be admitted at the isolation facility while the asymptomatic will still be placed in the current isolation ward of the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital.

The isolation facility will be equipped with two RT PCR machines that are donations of the Energy Development Corporation, including bio safety cabinets for the swab samples, among others.

It can run more or less 150 swab TESTS samples daily, according to the anti-Covid ground commandr Dr Liland Estacion.  (With reports from jrg /ryan sorote)