Governor Melchor Diclas said the surge of COVID-19 cases in the province in the past weeks overwhelmed the Benguet General Hospital (BeGH) and the temporary treatment and quarantine facilities including the health workers.
The province recorded 10 to 15 positive cases in several occasions filling up the remaining beds and rooms of the BeGH and the other facilities in the province.
BeGH Chief Dr. Meliarazon Dulay said that in August, the hospital was already at its full capacity so some COVID-19 positive patients had to be transferred to the recently opened Provincial Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facility in Wangal, this town. .The provincial government has converted the Regional Evacuation Center as a temporary treatment hub for COVID-19 patients
She explained that they had to unload the BeGH to cater to COVID-19 patients who are asymptomatic and other critical patients such as those with co-morbidity, children, pregnant, senior citizens and other non-COVID-19 cases.
Aside from the BeGH and the Provincial Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facility, the province also opened the Temporary Provincial Quarantine Facility 1 which serves as the central triage and quarantine facility for locally stranded individuals and returning overseas Filipino workers.
The Baguio City Community Isolation Facility (the old Santo Nino Hospital which was revived and refurbished) is also accommodating some patients from Benguet who are asymptomatic.
Diclas said that the provincial government is looking at the facilities of the Benguet State University and at gymnasiums as temporary quarantine or isolation units.
He called on other municipalities to prepare and establish their own treatment and quarantine facilities that would also cater to COVID-19 positive patients from their respective municipalities.
Tuba and La Trinidad have already established their temporary isolation and quarantine facilities where some of the patients from their respective municipalities are being catered.
As of August 27, the Benguet Public Information Office reported that the total COVID-19 confirmed cases in the province is 179 with 111 recoveries and 67 active cases. The province also recorded one COVID-19 related death.
At least five returning OFWs were also treated in the province after testing positive for COVID-19 but they are not listed in the provincial data as they have been listed at the National Repatriate Data.
The capital town of La Trinidad recorded the most cases with 117 confirmed COVID-19 cases while Kabayan remains to be the only COVID-19 free town in Benguet. (JDP/ RMC- PIA CAR)
By Redjie Melvic M. Cawis