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Mayor Magalong taps unused Baguio hospital as Covid care facility

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BAGUIO CITY – Baguio can make use of the 36-bed Baguio Central University-Sto. Nino Hospital on P. Burgos Street here as a critical care facility for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) patients starting April 14, the city information office said on Monday.

City Information office chief Aileen Refuerzo said the preparations for the former hospital, facilities, manpower, and other aspects went full blast after city officials, with the help of Dr. Willy Occidental, convinced its owners to used it as a quarantine center for Covid-19 patients.

City officials also convinced barangay officials and residents in the area of the importance of the facility in battling the disease as there have been 13 Covid-19 patients in the city.

Saint Louis Hospital of the Sacred Heart medical director, Dr. Paul Adlai Quitiquit led a team that inspected the building and decided that the city needs three weeks to repurpose the building which was converted to classrooms after its closure 11 years ago.

“Our preparations on services, equipment, manpower, and other logistics are also ongoing. We are currently finalizing our draft proposal to the city for the operation of the new center,” Quitiquit told Mayor Benjamin Magalong.

Quitiquit will also submit recommendations that will help in securing a license to operate as a specialty hospital with the assistance of the Department of Health (DOH).

Magalong wants a third party to certify that the facility passed the standards before the patients can be brought in.

The mayor last March 27 held a dialogue with the residents in the area wherein he assured that the city will undertake all measures to secure the facility to prevent contamination in the community.

Doctors and experts on infectious diseases, on the other hand, had assured that the facility will be protected and contained to avoid danger to the community.

Sprucing up the building was done with the help of private individuals and companies who volunteered their services and equipment for free.

Resources like medical, housekeeping facilities and manpower, will again be pooled from the various hospitals, DOH, and the city government.

The hospital closed down in July 2009, ironically before its owners, the Fernandez family was awarded as a Centennial Builder of Baguio for their contribution in education as the founder of the Baguio Central University in September that year.

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