In 3 months, gov’t can build COVID-19 facilities for future surges — DOH exec

PORT ISOLATION Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Monday inspects a 45-bed COVID-19 isolation center set up at Eva Macapagal Terminal in Port Area, Manila, as hospitals in Metro Manila hit full capacity. —MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

MANILA, Philippines — The government can establish COVID-19 facilities that can withstand future surges within three months, the country’s treatment czar said Wednesday.

Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega said the government has already begun setting up and operating modular hospitals as they planned in November in preparation for a surge in COVID-19 cases.


“We can achieve that in three months time because when we planned for it last November, we knew that there might be a second wave and we planned for [setting up] field modular hospital,” he said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel when asked how long the government can construct COVID-19 facilities that can withstand future surges.

Vega noted that modular hospitals are already set up and are being operated at the Lung Center of the Philippines with 27 beds, Jose Rodriguez Memorial Hospital with 44 beds, and at the Quezon Institute with 110 beds, among others.

“We are still constructing through the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) another 110 extension facility in [Lung] Center, and there is another 220 in the national mental hospital (National Center for Mental Health), that is a field hospital,” said Vega.

“So in other words, in 45 days or even three, possibly three months, we will be able to achieve this number of beds to about close to 500,” he added.

According to the treatment czar, the government will also be inaugurating another 44-bed field modular hospital in the Batangas Medical Center this Friday.

Vega said the additional capacity for intensive care units and isolation beds for COVID-19 patients is among the “gains” achieved by the government during the weeks of implementing enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified ECQ in the NCR Plus.

He said the MECQ in the NCR Plus, which covers Metro Manila, Cavite, Rizal, Laguna, and Bulacan, should be extended to sustain these gains. The implementation of MECQ in the NCR Plus bubble will end on April 30.

The country has a total of 71,675 active cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday, including 7,204 newly-reported infections.



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For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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