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Albay eyes drug rehab center as possible COVID-19 isolation facility

Albay eyes drug rehab center as possible COVID-19 isolation facility

LEGAZPI CITY – Albay Gov. Al Francis Bichara said Monday that the province might convert the Albay Drug Rehabilitation Center in Ligao City into a temporary coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) isolation facility should the crisis brought by the pandemic worsens.

Bichara, who is also chair of the provincial Interagency Task Force, said that the rehab center has an area that could accommodate 40 beds.

The facility would have two isolation units – one for mild cases of persons under investigation (PUIs) with 14-bed capacity and another unit for severe PUIs and COVID-19 positive patients with a 12-bed capacity.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Antonio Ludovice said that the two district hospitals – the Josefina Belmonte Memorial Hospital in Ligao City and the Ziga Memorial District Hospital in Tabaco City – are being readied to admit cases of confirmed COVID-19 once the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (BRTTH) patient admission overflows.

Meanwhile, Dr. Butch Rivera, BRTTH chief, said the hospital’s isolation facility would be improved from a four bed to a 14-bed capacity to cater admission of COVID-19 patients.

Bichara, in an interview, said that the precautionary and preventive measure enforced by the task force has earned significant gains after the number of persons under monitoring (PUMs) cases fell by 50 percent from 40,000 down to 20,000 PUMs as of Monday.

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For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.