Barangay health stations not suitable as COVID-19 quarantine facilities – DOH
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday said barangay health stations are too small and not ideal community quarantine facilities for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire made the statement after JBros Construction Corporation offered the use of partially unpaid barangay health stations it had built in its previous deal with the health department.
The construction firm was awarded a contract to construct over 3,000 barangay health stations across the country in 2016. The DOH, under then Health Secretary Janette Garin, deposited P3.5 billion to the Landbank of the Philippines under a letter of credit.
However, the DOH later said it uncovered project anomalies, and both parties to sought arbitration.
While Vergeire did not comment on the DOH’s pending case with JBros, she explained that barangay health stations won’t be able to provide the social distancing needed in isolation sites, adding that these health centers are mere “extensions” of rural health units.
“Ito po ay maliit na structure na hindi po huhusto or hindi magiging appropriate for a community quarantine facility,” Vergeire said in a virtual Laging Handa Press Briefing aired over state-run PTV.
“May standard po tayo sa communtiy quarantine facility, meron po tayong sukat saka meron pong distansya bawat kama para hindi po tabi tabi at may social distance,” she added.
The government is currently converting massive convention facilities and sports complexes to serve as temporary COVID-19 centers as it gears up for a massive testing of suspected coronavirus carriers next week.
Local government units are also urged to identify possible community quarantine facilities in their jurisdictions.
The DOH reported Tuesday afternoon 104 new cases of the respiratory disease in the country, raising the total number of cases nationwide to 3,764.
Eighty four of the patients recovered while 177 have perished. https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1255236/doh-11-patients-recover-from-covid-19-as-cases-soar-to-3764
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