MANILA, Philippines — Public buildings that are now being converted into quarantine facilities will accommodate patients under investigation (PUIs) for COVID-19, asymptomatic patients and those who have already recovered from the respiratory illness, the Department of Health (DOH) said Wednesday.
The government is currently converting state-owned buildings and sports facilities such as the Philippine International Convention Center, World Trade Center, and the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex into quarantine hubs as hospitals and health care centers struggle to house more COVID-19 patients.
In an interview over dzMM, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire explained that only those patients with severe COVID-19 infection and those under the vulnerable population will be the only ones to be admitted to hospitals to avoid congestion.
“Unang-una ang objective niyan ay para maihiwalay po natin ‘yung mga may mild na symptoms at saka walang sintomas na positibong pasyente. ‘Yun pong severe nalang saka vulnerable population ang mailalagak sa hospital,” Vergeire said.
Recovered patients who are set to be discharged from hospital and are only waiting for negative test results will also be placed in the converted isolation facilities.
Lastly, PUIs or those with symptoms and travel history abroad and/or exposed to COVID-19 positive individuals will also be admitted to the public buildings, Vergeire said.
To date, there are 2,084 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country as of Tuesday, 88 of whom have died while 49 recovered.
Meanwhile, there are currently 968 PUIs and 6,321 patients under monitoring for the disease according to the latest data from the DOH.
Worldwide, the virus, which was first detected in Hubei, China late last year, has so far infected over 850,000 people in 180 countries and territories. Of the number, more than 42,000 died while over 175,000 have recovered.