Iloilo town puts up nipa huts as quarantine rooms

By: Nestor Burgos Jr. - Inquirer Visayas | September 06,2021 - 09:57 AM

ISOLATE HERE These nipa huts will serve as COVID-19 quarantine units for mild and asymptomatic cases in Lambunao town in Iloilo. —PHOTO COURTESY OF THE LAMBUNAO MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo, Philippines — While other local governments are building modern COVID-19 quarantine facilities, a town in Iloilo province has built the quintessential “bahay kubo” for its residents afflicted with the coronavirus disease.

At least 18 nipa huts have been put up in Barangay Pandan in Lambunao town, about 53 kilometers north of Iloilo City.

“The nipa huts are being prepared to accommodate asymptomatic or with mild symptoms [of COVID-19],” Dr. Ma. Mercedes Ballarta, Lambunao municipal health officer, told the Inquirer.

Ballarta said the quarantine facility would first be used by returning residents who needed to complete a 14-day mandatory quarantine before those who tested positive for the coronavirus would be accommodated.

A nipa hut can accommodate up to three persons if belonging to the same family.

Better alternative

Each unit has its own toilet, electric fan, lavatory, windows with screen, aside from electricity and water connection as well as other basic amenities.

Ballarta said three of the units would be used by health, police and other municipal personnel that would be assigned in the area.

Each nipa hut costs about P35,000. The project had an allocation of P999,733.

Ballarta said the municipal government was planning to put up a quarantine facility using modified container vans but this would be more costly.

“We decided to put up nipa huts which are airy. We can also use these for billeting [municipal guests] after the pandemic,” she said.

Residents who need quarantine are currently accommodated at Don Eugenio Ladrido Memorial Elementary School, which has a capacity of 70 persons.

Lambunao, which has a population of 81,236 people according to the 2020 census, has 174 active cases as of Friday, including 14 new cases, 12 in quarantine facilities, 128 in-home quarantine, and 20 in hospitals.

COVID-19 cases have been surging in Western Visayas, including in Iloilo province.

The Department of Health (DOH) regional office reported 649 new cases in the region with 23 deaths as of Sept. 3. The total number of cases in Western Visayas since March last year reached 106,713, of which 12,333 remained active as of Sept. 3, the DOH said.

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TAGS: COVID-19, Iloilo, nipa huts, quarantine rooms

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