MANILA, Philippines – The local government of San Juan is eyeing to use the Pinaglabanan Elementary School as a quarantine facility for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients amid a growing number of infections in the city.
San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora said the school has spacious rooms that may be converted into isolation rooms with 90 hospital bed capacity.
Zamora said they have already started the preparations in order to accommodate patients that may be transferred to the facility should local hospitals reach full capacity.
San Juan has so far reported 42 confirmed infections with over 149 patients under monitoring.
Zamora said they are planning to push through with the proposed use of school facilities to house individuals being monitored for coronavirus infections despite the Department of Education’s (DepEd) advice to seek first the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (ATF-EID).
“Wala namang school ngayon, so bakante yang mga facilities na yan… Kung hindi nila papayagan I will have to coordinate with the DepEd sapagkat wala na tayong ibang choice eh,” the mayor said.
He added that the construction of the special isolation room with 16-bed capacity of San Juan Medical Center has just been completed while its COVID-19 special ward with 26-bed capacity is still being built.
In line with efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19, the San Juan LGU has imposed a strict quarantine in areas hardest hit by the virus.
Senior citizens, pregnant women, and minors who are vulnerable to contracting the virus are also prohibited from entering supermarkets and wet markets. But a supermarket staff will get the list of things to be purchased that the customer has prepared and will be the one to collect it from the shelves.
The distribution of relief packs, containing rice, noodles, canned goods and a bottle of alcohol, has also started for the poorest families in the city, the San Juan LGU said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)