After already converting various evacuation centers into health facilities, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is now looking into the prospects of converting other existing public buildings and open spaces in Metro Manila to be used as health facilities and isolation sites to further address the rising concerns of the hospital shortage caused by the rapid transgression of COVID-19 cases.
Citing a report from DPWH Undersecretary for UPMO Operations and Technical Services Emil K. Sadain, Secretary Mark A. Villar said that a proposal is already in place to convert available spaces of Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), World Trade Center (WTC), Rizal Memorial Coliseum, and Philippine Institute of Sports Multipurpose (Philsport) Arena that can accommodate a total of 2,905 possible patients.
The four (4) buildings have water and electrical lines that can be converted into isolation facilities preferably for COVID-19 persons under investigation and persons under monitoring.
Moreover, the open areas of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), WTC, Philsport Area, Rizal Coliseum, Quezon City Memorial Circle, University of the Philippines-Diliman Campus, and Veterans Memorial Medical Center can also be where the DPWH can install prototype tents. With these available open spaces, an estimated 249 plots inclusive of 747 tents with three (3) tents per plot of 800 square meters (40 meters by 20 meters) can be installed that can accommodate up to 7,470 patients.
“In coordination with the Department of Health, DPWH through the Task Force to Facilitate Augmentation of Local and National Health Facilities headed by Undersecretary Sadain with its technical working group composed of Bureau of Maintenance Director Ernesto S. Gregorio Jr., Bureua of Construction Director Eric A. Ayapana, Bureau of Reseach and Standard Director Reynaldo G. Tagudando, and Bureau of Design Director Aristarco M. Doroy has drawn up the conversion of wide open spaces into isolation sites, where prototype tents can be installed. Tents will have proper ventilation and appurtenances, and toilets and bathrooms,” said Secretary Villar.
The DPWH will also look into the possibility of converting the old Casino Filipino near NAIA 1 in Pasay City into a isolation facility.
Meanwhile, Undersecretary Sadain reported that 19 out of the 110 DPWH-built evacuation centers are now being used as health facilities accross the country while 10 others as Emergency Operation Centers.
“To date, the following Regions are utilizing evacuation centers as health facilities: Region 1 – 1, Region 2 – 2, Region 3 – 4, Region 6 – 2, Region 7 – 3, Region 9 – 1, Region 10 – 1, Region 11 – 3, and Region 13 – 2,” added Undersecretary Sadain.
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