Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that the Rizal Memorial Coliseum, the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), and World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM) are due to open this week as community quarantine facilities after he visited the sites on Monday.
Several sports complexes and convention centers are being converted into community quarantine facilities to accommodate the rising number of suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Initially, Duque said all three community quarantine facilities will admit COVID-19 positive patients who are asymptomatic and with mild symptoms only.
“This protocol may change depending on the number of PUIs (Persons Under Investigations) & PUMs (Persons Under Monitoring), ” he said.
If a patient’s condition worsens, Duque said he or she will be rushed immediately to a hospital for proper management and treatment.
He said PICC can accommodate a maximum of 294 patients, WTCMM can admit 502, and Rizal Memorial Coliseum can accept 112.
PICC will be managed by the Philippine National Police (PNP) Medical Corps while WTCMM will be managed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Both the PNP and AFP will supervise the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
He said the Department of Health (DOH) healthcare workforce will also be supporting these three quarantine facilities.
The conversion of the three quarantine facilities is a collaboration between government and private sector, composed of the DOH, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), and the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) headed by Secretary Vince Dizon, who is also the Presidential Adviser for Flagship Programs and Projects.
The DOH also cited the public-private partnership of The Medical City (TMC) and Pasig City Children’s Hospital (PCCH) where “moderate” COVID-19 cases will be transferred to the PCCH so that more advanced facilities in TMC can be used to attend to severe cases.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire and TMC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Eugenio Jose F. Ramos discussed how TMC will serve as the acute care center for severe COVID cases while the PCCH’s 63-bed capacity will take care of mild to moderate adult cases.
She said staffing adjustments will also be made to facilitate the arrangement.
The pediatrics staff of PCCH will be transferred to other hospitals for non-COVID cases. Adult medical doctor frontliners from other Pasig hospitals will be asked to be part of the PCCH, which will be designated as the Pasig City COVID Hospital.
“Many of our hospitals expressed interest in replicating this partnership in their areas,” Vergeire said, thanking the private sector for their unstinting support to the government’s efforts against COVID-19.
The health department also appealed to the public not to discriminate against those patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and our healthcare workers.
The DOH warned that discrimination and the stigma against patients may encourage people to hide being COVID-positive, which would in turn compromise the country’s efforts towards effective case isolation and treatment./Stacy Ang