MANILA, Philippines — The government has reopened three former large quarantine sites as “step-down care facilities” for COVID-19 patients in order to decongest hospitals, the Department of Health (DOH) said Wednesday.
According to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, recovering coronavirus patients as well as patients who no longer require critical care would be housed in these step-down care facilities which she identified as the Rizal Memorial Coliseum and Ninoy Aquino Stadium in the City of Manila and the Quezon Institute in Quezon City.
She said the Rizal Memorial Coliseum, which has 97 beds, was reopened in the second week of March while the Ninoy Aquino Stadium, which has 127 beds, was reopened recently. The Quezon Institute will be operational on April 5, she added.
Vergeire noted that these three quarantine sites were eventually closed since not many people were using them, and after COVID-19 cases decreased last year.
“We are going to restrategize the use of these quarantine facilities para magamit ng ating mga hospitals (so hospitals can use these) as step-down care facilities,” she said in an online press briefing.
“Ibig sabihin, ‘yung medyo gumagaling na at pwedeng bantayan na lang sa mga ganitong facilities ay gagawin na natin para ma-decongest ang hospitals,” she added.
(This means that those who are already recovering and can be monitored in these facilities will be brought to these sites to decongest hospitals.)
Vergeire said more facilities will be opened to ease the overcrowding of hospitals in the wake of a renewed surge in coronavirus infections.
She also said that DOH has already identified certain hotels that will be turned into quarantine sites for coronavirus-positive health workers who are asymptomatic or have mild infections.
The country has so far recorded a total of 741,181 COVID-19 cases, including 124,680 active infections, 603,310 recovered patients, and 13,191 fatalities. The Philippines’ highest single-day increase in COVID-19 cases was recorded on March 29 at 10,016.
Of the total active cases, 98.3 percent either manifest mild symptoms or are asymptomatic, according to DOH.
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For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.
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