As the city braces for a possible surge of 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases, the local government is eyeing three private medical facilities to cater to patients positive with the disease.
In a radio interview on Monday, Mayor Sara Duterte said more hospitals catering to Covid-19 patients are needed in addition to the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC)–the region’s main referral hospital for the dreaded disease.
Mayor Sara said the “standby” medical facilities would be utilized in the event the SPMC could no longer cater to Covid-19 patients.
“We have made them as reserved Covid-19 private hospitals. Meaning, we have selected them to be Covid-19 hospitals in the event the SPMC facilities will not be enough,” Duterte said.
Without disclosing the hospitals involved, Mayor Sara made it clear that they would not be tapped as long as SPMC can still manage to hold patients “as of the moment”.
“Should we use them? I do not know. Do we need them at this point? Not yet. We have been advised by doctors that we should prepare for a worst-case scenario, that is why we need to do this,” Mayor Sara said.
She said a surge of cases is expected after the city government intensified case-finding and random testing.
Earlier, random tests conducted by the health team from the Department of Health in Davao Region (DOH-11) over the weekend in the villages under lockdown led to the discovery of four more individuals positive for Covid-19.
Around 16 areas in this city have been subjected to street and household lockdowns after Covid-19 cases have been reported.
Duterte said the DOH personnel also conducted contact-tracing in Barangay Daliao, Toril District here recently.
“They found one resident who will be subjected to swabbing. This resident is living nearby the village where positive a case occurred,” she said.
The primary challenge according to health authorities, she said, is the discovery of Covid-19 cases even on individuals who had no travel history and never went to the March derby here, which has been linked to several cases.
Duterte added that the intensified contact tracing will help the city contain the virus as people who already have the disease without their knowledge “will now be identified”.
As of April 27, there are 108 Covid-19 cases, 19 deaths and 57 recovered patients in this city. (PNA)