ILIGAN CITY, Oct. 22 - Following the recent spike of coronavirus disease 2019 ()COVID-19 cases in Lanao del Sur that prompted national government to place Lanao del Sur and its component city, Marawi, under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ), the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) through its Lanao del Norte 2nd District Engineering Office (LDN2 DEO) turned-over a 60-bed capacity Isolation Facility located at Brgy. Matapoli, Marantao town in Lanao del Sur.
The simple turn-over rites was held at the open grounds of Marantao Municipal Hall on October 20, 2020.
Lanao del Sur and Marawi City are now the only areas in the country under the strictest level of community quarantine from October 1 to 31 while neighboring Iligan City has been downgraded to General Community Quarantine (GCQ) for the same period.
According to Assistant District Engineer Maria David, the new isolation facility can accommodate 60 COVID-19 patients who are symptomatic or with mild symptoms. Each cubicle in the facility has its own hospital bed, electric fan, and convenience outlet. There are also four restrooms and four shower rooms for the confined male and female patients.
"We hope that this facility will be put to good use as we strive to prevent another surge of COVID-19 cases and aim to lower local transmission here in Lanao del Sur," said David.
Project Manager Yacob Mambuay who represented Undersecretary Emil Sadain of DPWH Task Force to Augment Local and National Healthcare Facilities stressed the importance of the isolation facility in 'flattening the curve' during this pandemic.
Primarily, the isolation facility will slow the rate of infection within the community and it will help prevent the local healthcare system from being overwhelmed.
"Hindi po ito madaling laban (This is not an easy fight). Wag na nating hintayin na mahirapan na tayo (Let's not wait until we will be overwhelmed)," Mambuay urged.
DPWH Project Engineer Norodin Batabor who was tasked by District Engineer Alykhan Ali to complete the COVID-19 facility within 10-days was burning the midnight oil to successfully beat the deadline by two days.
For his part, Marantao Mayor Akira Alonto expressed his gratitude to DPWH for fast-tracking the construction of the isolation facility. "In behalf of all the good people of Marantao, taos puso po kaming nagpapasalamat sa lahat ng mga ahensyang bumubuo ng programang ito para mapuksa ang banta ng COVID-19 (we are wholeheartedly expressing our gratitude to all the agencies working against the threat of COVID-19," Mayor Alonto said.
Among those who witnessed the ceremony were PNP Provincial Director Police Colonel Rex Ordono Derilo, MILG Provincial Director McMillan Lucman, 1Lt. Chris Anthony Cayaba of 82ndInfantry Batallion, IPHO Chief Alinader Minalang, heads of various national line agencies, and department chiefs of Marantao LGU. (VNL/DPWH-PIO/PIA-ICIC)