Batac hospital’s covered court turns field hospital; brings back ‘Bayanihan’ spirit

The state-run MMMH&MC converted its basketball court and driveway into field hospital to accommodate the increasing number of referrals on COVID-19 related cases in Ilocos Norte and nearby provinces.

The latest Average Daily Attack Rate (ADAR) in Ilocos Norte according to the hospital’s Epidemiologist- Dr. Sheryl Racelis is 1.2 per 100,000 population, but this could be higher in some communities when computed per municipality.

Accordingly, based on our latest COVID-19 daily bulletin, we have a total of 81 admissions at the Isolation Room – sixty one (61) are confirmed, seventeen (17) suspect cases and three (3) probable cases. Sixteen (16) staff were also isolated as primary contacts. MMMH&MC, the end-referral center in the province which primarily caters to moderate, severe and critical cases, already reached the bed occupancy rate of 77.88% and considered high risk by the Department of Health. This is based on the 104 COVID-19 bed occupancy of the hospital.

In order to protect its staff and patients’ bubble, suspect COVID-19 patients are required to wait for their RT PCR results before they can be admitted.

Hence, the management deemed it urgent to respond to the long queue of patients waiting outside the hospital.

To address the emergency concern, doctors, nurses, administrative staff, allied health professionals, institutional workers, and Dr. Maria Lourdes Otayza, the hospital’s chief herself, voluntarily worked and painted together to put up the temporary field hospital. From the donations of the Ilocano community and scrap materials of the Engineering and Facilities Management, the employees were able to build the field cubicles in one day to accommodate the surge.

Otayza plans to put up another field hospital as Ilocos Norte had reached more than 1000 COVID-19 cases, in the past days. Yesterday, July 14, the province recorded at l21 new COVID-19 cases, one of the highest single-day tally in the province since the pandemic began last year.

The Field Hospital 1 will be blessed today and will be utilized as soon as the final cleaning has been completed.

The MMMHMC welcomes donations to construct another Field Hospital. (Clenntroy Vicka Guzman)