The Philippine government is rolling out specialized COVID-19 facilities to augment the currently struggling healthcare system. Among the planned facilities is the repurposed Philippine International Convention Center (PICC)-Forum Quarantine Hospital, complete with specially designed nurse stations that would prevent the healthcare workers from contracting the virus.
According to Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, the conversion began yesterday and it estimated to be completed in just 10 days.
The move is part of a new thrust by the DPWH that will prepare existing public buildings in Metro Manila to be health facilities and isolation sites for the possibly infected. This initiative follows quickly on the heel of the DPWH’s conversion of various evacuation centers across the country into health facilities.
The DPWH has also begun converting the World Trade Center (WTC) and Rizal Memorial Coliseum (RMC). A proposal is also with the agency for the Philippine Institute of Sports Multipuropose (Philports) Arena. The repurposed structures can accomodate a total of 2,905 patients. This would provide a huge and much needed relief for hospitals which are struggling to quarantine all confirmed and suspected cases.
A vast majority of COVID-19 cases in healthy individuals are non-critical. However, the incredibly infectious nature of the virus means that even asymptomatic carriers must be quarantined. This places a huge tax on hospitals who must follow strict guidelines to isolate patients that may not need immediate medical attention.
With these new structures, our hospitals will be freed up to address critical cases and other serious illnesses beyond COVID-19, like heart disease.