EOC not worried with closure of NOAH
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is not too worried about the closure of the New Oasis for Adaptation and a Home (NOAH) Complex at the end of this month.
NOAH is the city’s major Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) isolation center during the pandemic.
Councilor Joel Garganera, the deputy implementor of the EOC, said the NOAH facility has been a major aspect of the city’s fight against the pandemic, but since it sits on a private structure, the city has always known that time will come when it will close down.
“NOAH has greatly contributed in isolating the positive patients from the communities and prevent the further spread of the virus. Although this can somehow affect the isolation of positive patients, we nevertheless have other isolation facilities which can cater to our positive patients.”
“This will then be an opportunity for us to reinforce our BICs (barangay isolation centers) and improve our facilities. In the same way, we also have other TTMF facilities and hotels available. We are coordinating closely with DepEd as regards these BICs,” said Garganera.
NOAH was established inside BigFoot Studios during the pandemic, a private structure sitting on city-owned land. The company allowed the use of the studios to help the city amid the pandemic.
Recently, Mayor Edgardo Labella announced that NOAH will be closing officially on May 30, 2021, although this early it is no longer admitting Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients.
The facility is still accepting birthing women until May 18, 2021, after which the city government will begin to tear down the facility for the official turnover at the end of the month.
The EOC said there are at least three BICs, over 11 hotels, and the Cebu City Quarantine Center (CCQC) that still serves as isolation facilities for the remaining active cases in the city.
In the most recent data of the EOC, there are only 347 active cases of the COVID-19 in the city with at least 23 new cases recorded as of May 15, 2021.
The hospital occupancy rate of the city also dropped to 9.7 percent for private hospitals and 18.5 percent for public hospitals, generally, a record low since last year.
With the current situation of the city, the EOC is hoping that this downtrend will continue especially with the vaccination rolling out for various priority groups.
Although the closure of NOAH means the city loses 400 beds for COVID-19 isolation, Garganera can only hope that there will be no need of them anymore. /rcg
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