Gov. Albert Garcia’s groundbreaking project, the three-hectare 1Bataan Central Mega Quarantine and Isolation Facility (Mega Q) was inaugurated last Dec. 18 and is now serving the increased number of Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs) spending the Christmas holidays in Bataan.
Mega Q is a 209-bed capacity facility that serves as a centralized processing center and temporary treatment and monitoring facility in the province of Bataan under the leadership of Provincial Health Office (PHO) chief Dr. Rosanna Buccahan and facility administrator Dr. Danny Velasco.
Prior to the MegaQ’s inauguration, a temporary Processing Center at the La Vista compound in Balanga City was organized after a surge in COVID infection among Overseas Filipino Workers, seafarers and Locally-Stranded Individuals (LSIs) was observed. In its operation, the temporary processing facility has already accommodated 1,751 OFWs.
The inauguration of the massive Mega Q was timely and appropriate this Christmas holidays where the number of balikbayan planning to spend the Christmas holidays in the Bataan has tripled. It was also in preparation for the anticipated increase in mass gatherings and its consequent effect on the COVID situation in the province.
According to Dr. Velasco, most of those who will be quarantined in the facility will be the asymptomatic, mild and moderate cases of confirmed COVID-19 cases. Severe cases will be moved to the Bataan General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC).
Velasco also revealed that there will be a staff of 124 personnel consisting of doctors, nurses, nursing attendants, utilities, cooks, nutritionist and dietician, computer technicians and clerks when the facility becomes fully operational.
Inaugurated last Friday at the Mega Q are the isolation and quarantine areas located at the second, third and fourth floors, four swabbing booths at the ground floor, a huge lobby, two transit rooms for patients who may need critical care, a laundy/recreation area, doctors quarters, nurses’ stations, central office, kitchen and mess hall.
A specialized air filtration system was installed in the entire building for an added measure of safety where the air will undergo a level of purification before it blows off from the rooftop vents.
The Mega Q is the provincial government’s response to the problem of COVID-19 surges which inevitably happen as the province continues to transition into the new normal. Garcia said the mega facility will also provide respite to the hardworking frontliners as it will be a centralized venue in the province for medical manpower and logistics in Bataan’s fight against the pandemic.
Gov. Garcia, who pulled out all the stops to make this mega facility happen, also paid tribute to the hardworking and courageous frontliners and government employees during the inauguration. He said, “the province would like to thank you for all the support and hard work that you extend to our kababayans. You went over and beyond the call of duty in your service. Kahit wala sa job description ninyo, you are always willing to extend help to ease the suffering of our kababayans. For that, please know that we are in gratitude to you all.”
The governor also reiterated the usefulness of the Mega Q as a complementing measure to the efficient testing in the province after the immediate establishment of PCR Laboratories in Bataan, the 1Bataan-BGHMC PCR Laboratory and the latest addition, the Mariveles District Hospital Molecular Laboratory.
He said, “testing shows us where the virus is. And now that we have the Mega Q, we will not lack in isolation and quarantine areas for those who will be tested positive. This way, we can fight COVID even better. The invisible enemy will not be invisible after all.”