Construction starts on 110-bed COVID-19 hospital at Lung Center

Workers at Lung Center modular hospital site

Workers have started the construction of a 110-bed modular hospital for COVID-19 patients at the Lung Center grounds in Quezon City. (Photo from the DPWH)

MANILA, Philippines — Construction has started on a 110-bed capacity modular hospital for COVID-19 patients at the Lung Center of the Philippines, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said in a post on its official Facebook page on Sunday.

The project is part of government efforts to expand the capacity of major hospitals treating COVID-19 patients, the post quoted DPWH Mark Villar as saying.

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The modular hospital will be composed of five units with 22 beds each — with one of the units designed to be an intensive care unit (ICU). It will be used by moderate, severe, and critical COVID-19 patients.

The units will be built by the DPWH Task Force to Facilitate Augmentation of Local and National Health Facilities headed by Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain.

DPWH BUILDS ADDITIONAL MODULAR HOSPITAL AT THE LUNG CENTER OF THE PHILIPPINESThe Department of Public Works and…

Posted by Department of Public Works and Highways on Saturday, April 24, 2021

Last April 16, the government opened a similar 110-bed facility at the Quezon Institute, which was designed for COVID-19 patients classified as severe and critical.

At the Lung Center itself, the DPWH had earlier built other modular hospitals, including eight rooms with two hospital beds each for 16 moderate, severe, and critical COVID-19 patients.  There are also 16 rooms with double-decker beds serving as temporary quarters for health workers.

A recent surge in COVID-19 cases caused hospital occupancy to rise rapidly in Metro Manila and the adjacent provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal — the area labeled by the government as the National Capital Region Plus bubble, which is now under enhanced community quarantine.

Various hospitals were then forced to set up tents on their grounds to temporarily accommodate more patients.

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Still, there have been reports of patients no longer reaching the hospitals as they had died at home, in an ambulance, or in tents.

Early this April, Vice President Leni Robredo questioned the Department of Health why patients were lining up if the hospitals, as it said, were not yet full. She said many patients deemed as emergency cases had been calling her office for help.

Robredo also noted some patients in the NCR Plus bubble had to be taken to hospitals outside the area.

As of Sunday, COVID-19 cases were reported to have declined nationwide to 77,075, even though the DOH reported 8,162 new cases.

Still, the Philippines remained one of the Southeast Asian countries with the worst outbreaks — just fewer than 2,500 new cases away from hitting the one million mark for confirmed infections.

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