MANILA, Philippines — The government will turn the massive Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan to a “mega-quarantine facility” for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients.
During Friday’s Laging Handa Press Briefing aired over state-run PTV, Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) President and CEO Vince Dizon thanked the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) for offering the world’s largest indoor arena to serve as a quarantine center in the province of Bulacan and nearby areas.
“Nagpapasalamat tayo sa INC, sa Kapatiran, dahil pumayag na po sila. Inoffer po nilang gamiting ang Philippine Arena para magserve sa Bulacan at Region 3,” Dizon said.
He added that the government is also eyeing to convert a total of 12 facilities in Metro Manila as temporary isolation sites for coronavirus patients.
Among the 12 facilities being converted were the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) Forum Halls, the World Trade Center, Rizal Memorial Coliseum, FTI facility in Taguig City, Quezon Institute, PhilSports Arena in Pasig, Filinvest Tent in Alabang, Duty-Free Philippines in Parañaque, Amoranto Sports Complex in Quezon City, open areas in Quezon Memorial Circle, and the Veterans Memorial Medical Center.
Conversion of the PICC Forum Halls, the World Trade Center, and the Rizal Memorial Coliseum into isolation sites have already started and are set to be completed by April 12. The three facilities will be able to accommodate a total of 1,950 individuals.
The government is converting these state-owned facilities into isolation sites as hospitals and health care centers struggle to accommodate more COVID-19 patients.
The Department of Health (DOH) earlier said these temporary facilities will serve as isolation sites for patients under investigation (PUIs) for COVID-19, asymptomatic patients and those who have already recovered from the respiratory illness.
National Task Force (NTF) COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. said Thursday night that the government is eyeing a “massive” testing of suspected coronavirus patients on April 14.
As of Thursday afternoon, the Philippines has 2,633 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 107 of whom have died while 51 managed to recover.
The DOH claimed that the continuous increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is the result of the health department’s expanded capacity to test for the coronavirus due to the acquisition of thousands of testing kits and the designation of additional laboratories for reducing the backlog of samples.
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