Gov. Jose Chaves Alvarez, through an Executive Order No. 53, assigns the Bataraza District Hospital and Roxas Medicare Hospital as isolation units for PUIs found out to be positive with Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Based on the information shared to the press by PIA-Mimaropa, yesterday, thru their daily “News on the Go,” the Bataraza District Hospital will cater the southern part of Palawan while the Roxas Medicare Hospital will be for the north.
If the scenario happens, all existing non-COVID-19 related patients of the said two hospitals will be made to vacate the area and they will be transferred to the other nearby hospitals.
“In anticipation for patients who will be tested positive for the virus the need to contain its spread and when the end referral hospitals in Puerto Princesa City will exceed their capacity to care PUIs and COVID-19 positive patients, there is a necessity to designate facilities or testing quarantine, isolation and treatment of aforementioned patients,” the executive order explains.
Section 1 of the said executive order designates the roles of hospital and exclusive COVID-19 isolation hospitals of which the chief of hospitals, hospital administrators, and/or heads are directed to comply.
PUIs WITH MILD SYMPTOMS THAT DO NOT NEED HOSPITALIZATION
All PUIs with mild symptoms, non-elderly, and without co-morbidities who are identified by their respective municipalities are hereby ordered to be quarantined for 14 days in designated facilities since they are possible carriers of COVID-19.
For Quarantine Areas for Person Under Investigation (PUIs) with mild symptoms that do not need hospitalization, for southern Palawan, patients can be housed in the OCD Regional evacuation Center in Brooke’s Point, in OCD Regional evacuation Center in Coron for Calamianes Group of Islands and in the newly constructed San Vicente Provincial Hospital for northern Palawan.
Also, the patients from the different municipalities who were seen, treated, or admitted in facilities in the City of Puerto Princesa must also undergo 14 days quarantine in a facility designated by the PDRRMC, prior to their return to their respective towns.
While the Puerto Princesa City residents who were seen treated or admitted in facilities are likewise recommended to undergo 14 days quarantine in a facility designated by the City Health office (CHO) prior to their return to their respective residences.
PUIs WITH MILD SYMPTOMS THAT NEED HOSPITALIZATION
And the PUIs with mild symptoms, non-elderly, without co-morbidities but need hospitalization, the patients shall be admitted in PGP hospitals in the municipalities of Aborlan, Narra, Rizal, Brooke’s Point, Bataraza, Roxas, Cuyo, and Coron. If the conditions of the PUIs worsen, they shall be referred to Ospital ng Palawan (ONP) in the mainland or in Culion Sanitarium and General Hospital (CSGH) in Calamianes Group Islands.
The Chief Executive also told the concerned agencies that for confirmed COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms or critical condition and/or for the PUIs with mild symptoms but have risks of developing severe disease like the elderly and those with co-morbidities, the designated isolation hospitals for them are the DOH owned hospitals.
The government also enjoined all level 2 private hospitals in the City and the Province and to designate isolation rooms, personnel and equipment for care of PUIs with severe symptoms or COVID-19 positive patients who need higher levels of care.
IF THE REFERRAL CENTERS IN PUERTO PRINCESA ALREADY EXCEEDS IN CAPACITY
In case hospitals in referral centers in Puerto Princesa are filled to capacity, the patients may be transferred to isolation Building of Southern Palawan Provincial Hospitals (SPPH) in Brooke’s Point which has access to medical specialists in the said municipality while for critically ill COVID-19 patients who need higher levels of care beyond what is available in Palawan, they will be referred to Level 3 hospitals identified by the DOH in Manila.
Also, all other hospitals not mentioned in the preceding provisions are designated as hospitals for non-COVID-19 patients.
It is likewise clarified that the Ospital ng Palawan (ONP) is the only COVID-19 Centralized Testing Center in the City and in the Province. The Palawan local government unit may purchase a PCR machine and FDA approved COVID-19 test kits and shall augment the personnel and equipment of the ONP laboratory if needed.
‘HEROES PAY’ FOR UNSUNG HEROES
A “Heroes Pay” or an additional compensation for health workers and other frontliners, including the contracts of service and job orders is also stated in EO 53, subject to available funds and upon the approval of the Provincial Board.
And as always reminded by Gov. JCA, the transport of the PUIs and COVID-19 patients is the responsibility of the Palawan Rescue 165 ambulance crew located in different municipalities in the Province.
The Governor also mentioned in his recent Executive order that it amends the EO 45 accordingly.
Meanwhile, Gov. Alvarez, in a Facebook video post, asked everyone through the help of the media, to cooperate and to calm down.
“Ang lalawigan ng Palawan ay mahigpit na tinututukan ang krisis na ito. Sa katunayan ay nagsasagawa na tayo at patuloy pang nagsasagawa ng mga hakbang para matiyak ang kaligtasan ng bawat Palawenyo. Ang inyong pakikisa at pagtutulungan ay kailangang-kailangan natin ngayon….Mag-ingat po tayong lahat. Magkaisa tayong labanan ang COVID-19,” he appealed.
Maximizing the influence of the social media amidst the COVID-19, in the same video, Gov. Alvarez asked the Palawenos not to panic, to stay at home, and obey the health deparment’s advice in order to curtail the spread of the virus thru frequent washing of hands for about 20 seconds with running water and soap, the use of 70 percent alcohol if there is no water available, eating nutritious foods and by having enough rest and sleep.