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Makati City, Red Cross opens new isolation facility 

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Makati Mayor Abby Binay and Senator Richard Gordon, Chairman and CEO of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Agreement to create the Makati Science High School isolation facility at Barangay Cembo, Makati.

The isolation facility will strengthen the city’s program of isolating individuals who have tested positive for the coronavirus. Housing mildly ill patients in a separate environment will limit the transmission of the virus to other members of the family and their immediate community.

“While Makati has ample room and facilities that can be converted into isolation or quarantine facilities, it is the shortage of manpower that we find most difficult. So when this setup was offered by Senator Gordon, I immediately grabbed this opportunity so we can continue to increase our healthcare capacity. This 56-bed facility at the Makati Science High School dorm will greatly help our efforts in fighting COVID-19,” Mayor Abby said.

Mayor Abby explained that the facility will benefit patients, tagged as “asymptomatic spreaders”, living in small apartments or one-room homes who worry about the health and safety of their families.

She added it will also help treat patients who are in the early stages of infection, and not wait for the symptoms to become severe and untreatable.

The Makati Science High School isolation facility, which is the city’s fifth quarantine facility, is actually the school’s dormitory. A unique feature of this facility has family rooms so family members who are ill can still stay together while getting expert medical care. Apart from this, there are male, female, and gender-neutral rooms so patients can feel at ease while under quarantine.

Senator Gordon, for his part, thanked Mayor Abby for trusting the Red Cross and the city’s immediate response to this partnership. 

He noted that the isolation facilities allay the fears of individuals who are afraid to go to hospitals or can no longer be accommodated at hospital ERs and ICUs. While inside the facility, Sen. Gordon said patients can be continuously tested for the coronavirus.

The Makati Science isolation facility is the first partnership between PRC and Makati City but is already the fourth isolation facility the Red Cross has opened in cooperation with other local government units.

PRC will provide beds and bedding materials and supplies, hygiene kits, water, bathroom, and shower facilities; provide a system for monitoring patient data.

Medical personnel from the PRC will monitor patients twice a day and handle patient documentation. They will also provide additional manpower for patient care and maintenance of the facility. PRC will also provide an ambulance service to transport patients that may need to be transferred to a hospital.

The facility was opened Tuesday, and at least two patients have been transferred during the day.

Besides Mayor Abby and Senator Gordon, the MOA signing was witnessed by PRC Secretary-general Elizabeth Zavalla, Dra. Paulyn Ubial, Dr. Arthur Catli, Gov. John Tiong. At the same time, Mr. Richard Raymund Rodriguez, Dr. Vergel Binay, Dr. Roland Unson, and Mr. Jun Salgado represented the Makati LGU.

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