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Instead of build, build, build: Joy Belmonte to convert buildings into isolation facilities

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Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte has ordered local officials to identify existing buildings that can be transformed into isolation facilities as hospitals overflow with COVID-19 patients.

Belmonte said government infrastructures, public school buildings, and even dormitories are currently being considered, evaluated, and retrofitted into isolation or quarantine facilities to help reduce the number of transmissions in communities and also decongest emergency rooms and other hospital facilities.

“This is the fastest way to decongest our hospitals while also mitigating further spread in the barangays. Since asymptomatic or those with mild symptoms do not need extensive medical care, they can be admitted in these facilities until their full recovery,” she said.

The City Architect’s Office, Office of the Secretary to the Mayor, and City Health Department are continuously evaluating possible isolation sites to complete the target of 1,000 new beds. Other buildings will also be used as quarters of health care workers.

The Quezon City government has also partnered with Ateneo de Manila University and the Philippine Red Cross in providing additional quarantine facilities in Ateneo’s Junior High School complex. Only QC government-referred patients will be allowed in this facility.

“We are grateful for the proactive participation of private organizations like Ateneo in our COVID-19 response. Through their facility, we will be able to accommodate more patients of COVID-19,” Belmonte said.