City Government of Valenzuela
19 March 2020 – present
Management for Productivity, Quality, and Agility, and Perspectives on Productivity, Governance, and Development
On 19 March 2020, the City Government of Valenzuela established two isolation centers as a response to the spread of COVID-19 in Metro Manila. These isolation centers utilized modular tents and military cot beds to separate people infected with COVID-19 from other non-infected individuals. Those isolated include individuals who display symptoms, or individuals who are asymptomatic but have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The use of isolation centers, instead of relying on home quarantine, helps ensure that the city’s health care system is not overwhelmed and is able to direct its efforts and resources to more severe cases.
Background and Problem
The first case of COVID-19 in the Philippines was confirmed on 30 January 2020, but it was not until March that the number of cases began to escalate. From 6 to 14 March, 107 new cases were confirmed, leading to the declaration of community quarantine in Metro Manila and Cainta, Rizal on 15 March. This was immediately followed by the declaration of President Rodrigo Duterte of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) for the entire Luzon island group on 16 March, and the confirmation by the Department of Health (DOH) of community transmission in the Philippines on 17 March.
Solution and Impact
On the third week of March 2020, acting upon the directive of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) for local government units (LGUs) to establish their barangay isolation units (BIUs) and mobilize barangay health emergency response teams (BHERTs) to promote health and safety and bolster response at the local level, the City Government of Valenzuela set up two isolation centers for COVID-19 cases. The local government has set up modular tents in Balai Banyuhay, the city’s new and unused drug rehabilitation center in Barangay Punturin, and the Valenzuela City Astrodome, and has been strictly implementing a no home quarantine policy in the city.
Isolation Center in Valenzuela City Astrodome (Source: City Government of Valenzuela)
Disinfecting rooms at Balai Banyuhay (Source: City Government of Valenzuela)
The Isolation Centers are meant to house persons under investigation (PUIs) and recovering COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms, freeing up bed space in the city’s hospitals for more severe cases. The LGU has also retrofitted the town hall to serve as the new quarantine facility for returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Isolation tents pitched inside Valenzuela Town Hall (Source: City Government of Valenzuela)
Arkong Bato Quarantine Facility (Source: City Government of Valenzuela)
In September 2020, the Arkong Bato Quarantine Facility was launched under the COVID-19 Makeshift Quarantine Facility Project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). The 15.23 million-peso quarantine facility has twelve container vans that were repurposed and converted into 44 air-conditioned rooms, two nurses’ stations, one radiology room, and one x-ray room for this facility. Each of the 44 rooms has a hospital bed, a table, a chair, and a private comfort room.
Aguarino, J. (2020, September 9). Valenzuela City Opens New Quarantine Facility in Arkong Bato. Official Website of the City Government of Valenzuela. Retrieved from https://www.valenzuela.gov.ph/article/news/13540
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, February 18). Quarantine and isolation. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/isolation.html.
The Daily Tribune. (2020, May 8). Valenzuela isolation center. Retrieved from https://tribune.net.ph/index.php/2020/05/08/valenzuela-isolation-center/
The Manila Times. (2020, March 29). Gatchalian urges LGUS to set up isolation facilities. Retrieved from https://www.manilatimes.net/2020/03/29/latest-stories/breakingnews/gatchalian-urges-lgus-to-set-up-isolation-facilities/707924