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Cebu reopens a warm climate institution owned by the church. Cases Covid-19

The Catholic Church has permitted the reopening of its facility as a patient care center for patients with mild and moderate symptoms amid an increase in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections here and in nearby communities in Cebu province.

Archbishop Jose Palma agreed to use the International Eucharistic Congress Convention Center (IC3) for the isolation and treatment of people who tested positive for Covid-19, according to a statement issued by the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino on Wednesday.

“In response to the ongoing Covid-19 surge and in anticipation of other variant-driven surges that may affect Cebu and its neighboring provinces, the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) expresses its heartfelt gratitude and sincere appreciation to the Archdiocese of Cebu, through His Excellency Archbishop Jose S. Palma, for allowing the free use of the Cebu Archdiocese’s IC3 Convention Center property as a temporary treatment

Starting Tuesday, the IC3 facility will be managed and maintained by the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, as part of a multi-party collaboration (VSMMC).

The center’s functioning is a collaboration between the municipal government, OPAV, the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Diseases – Visayas (IATF-Visayas), the Department of Health – Region 7 (DOH-7) and voluntary private sector partners such as Project Balik Buhay.

The center, which will be operating until January 31, 2023, will have 120 beds accessible for Covid-19 patients who are asymptomatic or have mild to moderate symptoms.

The facility, according to Dino, would help supplement Cebu’s healthcare capacity, as current Covid-19 capacity utilization rates (CCUR) in both public and private Cebu hospitals remain high due to the ongoing Omicron variant-driven Covid-19 surge.

According to Dino, the IC3 patient care facility will contribute to the decongestion of local hospitals.

“(They may now) focus more on the treatment of severe and critical Covid-19 patients, while quickly providing effective medical care for individuals with mild to moderate symptoms, especially those who may be unable to self-isolate at home owing to the recent typhoon’s damages,” he said.

After Cebu suffered a surge in cases during the Covid-19 epidemic in 2020, the IC3 was also employed as a patient care center. It was shut down last year at the commencement of the national immunization campaign, and the site was converted into an inoculation center for low-income people.

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