Mayor Lucilo Bayron sits in a meeting with the members of the Puerto Princesa City nCoV Task Force on February 5, 2020, to discuss the precautionary measures the city is undertaking against the new strain of coronavirus. (Photo courtesy of Richard Ligad/City Information Office)
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The city government’s Task Force 2019-nCoV is mulling to put up an isolation tent that will serve as a quarantine ward for patients with contagious or infectious diseases like the fast-spreading novel coronavirus.

Mayor Lucilo Bayron said Friday that the plan was discussed during his meeting with the task force. The acquisition was suggested after it was learned that the additional isolation room at the Ospital ng Palawan (ONP) has not yet materialized.

He said it is for quarantining purposes in case travelers who have been exposed to the nCoV from China need to be isolated for 14 days.

“Napag-usapan na magkaroon or mag-identify ng alternative isolation area kasi may mga kababayan tayo na baka i-isolate, hindi naman natin puwedeng bitawan sila agad. Bibili na lang ng tent,” he said.

However, Bayron said they are still identifying the site where the isolation tent will be set up.

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It will be with health front-liners who will be provided with masks, gloves, goggles, laboratory gowns, thermal gun/infrared thermometers, thermal scanner, and basic medications.

“Dapat sa hospital ito ilalagay kaya lang hindi naman natin kaya maglagay ng isolation ward na parang ospital agad. Kaya ang napag-usapan ay bibili ng tent. Hindi pa natin alam kung saan ilalagay ang tent pero sigurado naman na kung saan ang may problema ay doon ilalagay,” he said.

He said that the city government will use disaster funds for the emergency procurement of these gear and equipment.

Bayron said he has given instructions for persons in charge to look where to purchase the isolation tent.

“‘Yong parang baril (thermal gun) ay nasa P4,000 lang daw ‘yon tapos ang thermal scanner ay nasa P1.2 million daw. Nagpapabili na rin tayo ng mask, gown, goggles at ‘yong mga gamot na ina-anticipate natin na kakailanganin,” Bayron said.

Bayron said that all the gear will be used by the front liners and not for public use.

“Ito ay preparation para sa mga front-liners natin, mga doctors at nurses na humaharap sa mga pasyente. Para naman ito sa proteksyon ng lahat, mas maganda na bumili na tayo kasi ngayon pa nga lang nagkaka-ubusan na. Baka mas lalo tayong maiwanan sa ere kapag wala tayong kahandaan,” Bayron added.


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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.