Davao inn, motel operators convert facilities into PUI shelters

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DAVAO CITY – Owners and operators of motels and inns here have offered their facilities to accommodate suspected coronavirus disease (COVID-19) carriers identified as persons under investigation (PUI) amid reports of increasing confirmed cases in the region.

The Regional Task Force on COVID-19 reported that as of March 29, the region recorded 415 PUIs. Tests have been conducted and while 258 posted negative results, 48 patients yielded positive. As of date, four (4) deaths have been confirmed related to the contagious disease.

Currently, the city has five isolation facilities, namely: the Malagos Rehab Center; La Vida Inn in Maa; the Alternative Learning School (ALS) beside People’s Park; the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in Malagos, and the Queensland Hotel, which has offered 240 rooms to the city government.

The city government recently announced that they are in need of more facilities to accommodate more PUIs.

According to Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio in a radio interview over the weekend, they are working on opening two additional facilities.

“We are preparing the 6th and 7th PUI centers and we have already talked to two groups about it,” she said.

She added that the Malagos Rehabilitation Center, which can accommodate some 28 patients, currently houses 22 PUIs.

“Only Malagos Center is occupied and the rest are still empty. We want to fill a specific center first before opening the next one,” Duterte added.

In La Vida Inn, she said it can accommodate up to 26 PUIs while the ALS Center will accommodate positive COVID-19 patients with mild cases only.

“We do not want them in hospitals because we reserve the beds for those people who needed the health intervention the most, like the use of the oxygen and ventilators,” Duterte said.

The chief executive likewise added that on March 30, COVID-19 positive patients from Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) with mild symptoms will be transferred to the ALS Center.

On the other hand, construction and renovation works are currently ongoing in the BFP and Queensland Hotel facilities.

As to the workforce that will run the PUI centers, Duterte indicated that “this remains a challenge to the city government.”

However, she said they have called on healthcare volunteers to render services in the PUI temporary shelters.

“We have called on several volunteer health workers but we do not impose anything on them because it is a public health emergency and it is not right for us to push them on the job. It’s purely voluntary because there is a risk to their health and their life,” Duterte said.

She added that it is necessary to put trained and highly-skilled health workers because of the risks posed by the job.-ezc

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