Chinese experts say Philippines might be unable to cut COVID-19 transmission


Chinese medical experts from Wuhan, China said the Philippines might be unable to stop the source of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The Chinese medical experts came with the conclusion after visiting several hospitals in the country and holding video conferences with Philippine medical practitioners.

The Chinese medical experts arrived in the country on April 5 to share their knowledge on how China responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Weng Shangeng, the head of the Chinese medical expert team, told CCTV Asia Pacific that the country lacks beds and testing capacity.

Shangeng also revealed that several of the country’s COVID-19 patients are still quarantined at home instead of being admitted to hospitals.

Shangeng, on the other hand, advised that the Philippines should establish a “Fangcang hospital” immediately.

Fangcang hospitals “are large-scale temporary hospitals rapidly built by converting existing public venues such as stadiums and exhibition centers into health care facilities.”

This makeshift hospital is the one Wuhan developed in response to their COVID-19 pandemic in China.

“In this way, mild cases can be admitted to the hospital for observation so as to prevent the mild cases from becoming severe cases,” Shangeng said.

The team of doctors and experts from China arrived in the Philippines on Sunday, April 5, to help in responding to the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr said the experts bring with them “invaluable firsthand experiences to share on fighting and containing” COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Locsin welcomed the 10 medical experts and two officials at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

For his part, National Task Force COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. said the establishment of the makeshift hospital is a challenge.

However, the government is already doing something about it.

“Mayroon tayong more than nine sanitariums all over the Philippines, kasama dito yung Tala sa Rodriguez,” Galvez said.

“What we did is we converted the hospitals that can cope with the challenge so nandiyan ‘yong Lung Center, nandiyan ‘yong Tala, nandiyan din ‘yong PGH, which I think they’re doing good,” Galvez said.

Galvez also said they already converted several government venues as quarantine facilities to address the rising cases of COVID-19.

Among the facilities the Philippine government had converted are the Ninoy Aquino Stadium, Rizal Memorial Stadium, Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, Philippine International Convention Center, World Trade Center, ASEAN Convention Center and the National Government Administrative Center./Stacy Ang


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