Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, along with National Action Plan Against Covid-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez and deputy chief implementer Secretary Vince Dizon, on Thursday inspected the mega quarantine facility in Calamba, Laguna.
The group inspected the Calabarzon Regional Government Center which is being transformed into a coronavirus disease (Covid-19) quarantine facility with 553 cubicles, nurse stations, quarters for healthcare workers, with toilet and shower rooms for patients.
The facility is expected to begin operations by early September.
“The construction of this 553-bed quarantine facility will be a big boost to the government’s effort in containing the Covid-19 pandemic. As we ramp up our testing capacity, we are also increasing our bed capacity for isolation and quarantine. These two should go hand in hand,” Duque said.
“We assure the public that your national government will continue supporting our local government for an improved local response against Covid-19,” he said.
“Bawat isa sa atin ay may maiaambag sa labang ito. Hindi ito laban ng gobyerno o ng mga healthcare workers lang. Ito ay laban mo at laban ko. Ito ay laban nating lahat (Each of us has contributed in the fight against the disease. It is not just the government or the healthcare workers. This is our fight to stop the pandemic),” Duque said.
The DOH chief also reminded the public to strictly observe physical distancing, wearing face masks and face shields, and frequent handwashing to prevent the further transmission of the virus.
For his part, National Action Plan Against Covid-19 Deputy Chief Implementer Vince Dizon said the mega quarantine facility is a priority project of the government because of the rising cases of Covid-19 in the area.
“Alam nyo, mga wala pang isang buwan, nandito kaming lahat dahil priority talaga natin, isa sa mga priorities natin ang Laguna dahil sa tumataas na kaso dito noong nakaraang buwan. Kaya isa ito sa mga interventions na tinutulong ng national government para sa probinsya ng Laguna (You know, we were all here less than a month ago because this is our priority, Laguna is one of our priorities because of the increasing number of cases here last month. This is one of the national government’s interventions for the province of Laguna), Dizon said.
Dizon also thanked the local government of Laguna for their initiative to convert the existing facility.
“Nagpapasalamat po tayong muli sa leadership ni Governor Ramil and Mayor Timmy, at dahil sa pagtutulungan ng national government at ng City of Calamba at province of Laguna, ay magkakaroon tayo ng isang napakalaking quarantine facility para sa Calabarzon. I think, to date, mas malaki ito sa Nayong Pilipino. Kasi ang Nayong Pilipino nasa 525 beds lang, ito total of 650 beds — 97 will be for healthcare workers, 553 for the positive mild and asymptomatic patients (We are thankful for the leadership of Governor Ramil and Mayor Timmy, and with the help of the national government and the City of Calamba and province of Laguna, we now have a huge quarantine facility for Calabarzon. I think, to date, this is bigger than the Nayong Pilipino. Because Nayong Pilipino has 525 beds, while this one has a total of 650 beds — 97 will be for healthcare workers, 553 for the positive mild and asymptomatic patients),” he added.
Meanwhile, Galvez said the proximity of the facility to the business sector of Laguna is in accordance to the National Action Plan (NAP) Phase Two’s aim to strike a balance between upholding health while gradually reopening the economy.
“Itong Laguna is a major economic hub, and based doon sa ating mga analytics ay mataas po ang economic risk nito. And considering that ang ating National Action Plan Number 2 is really planning to have a striking balance between health and economy (Laguna is a major economic hub, and based on our analytics, the economic risk is high. And our National Action Plan Number 2 is really planning to have a striking balance between health and economy),” Galvez said.
Also present during the event were director Eric Ayapana from the Bureau of Construction, Department of Public Works and Highways, Laguna Governor Ramil Hernandez, and Calamba City Mayor Timmy Chipeco. (PNA)