Leonen: Convert casinos into testing, recovery areas for frontliners, patients

/ 02:18 PM March 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen on Tuesday proposed that large casinos could serve as testing and recovery areas as Metro Manila battles the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The social media-savvy justice made his proposal over his Twitter in an effort to alleviate the discomfort confronting frontliners such as health care professionals and workers, as well as provide a modest facility for the increasing number of COVID-19 patients.


“Convert the large casinos in Metro Manila into COVID testing and recovery areas. Remove gambling tables. They have the space and comfortable facilities to house those who are infected or even those awaiting test results,” Leonen said in his tweet.

Leonen added that casinos also have rooms that can be used by health workers as well as amenities that could aid in the country’s fight against the pandemic.

“They have large kitchens and the staff the can cook good healthy meals. They have large parking lots. They are located close to hotels where relatives of those recovering can stay. They are fairly isolated from major thoroughfares and congested communities,” he added.


Further, Leonen said that “using the casinos rather than schools prioritizes the education of our children.”

“Perhaps the casino owners have big hearts to be able to do this,” he added.

The magistrate likewise asked real estate developers to help out by providing resources to build bed hospitals.

“Can real estate developers come together and use all their resources to build a thousand bed hospital for Metro Manila and similar hospitals in other parts of the country?” he queried.

The Department of Health (DOH) said that confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the Philippines has soared to 501 as of Tuesday morning.

As a part of the government’s response measures to the pandemic, President Rodrigo Duterte has placed Luzon region under enhanced community quarantine.

This means that “strict home quarantine shall be implemented in all households; transportation shall be suspended; provision for food and essential services shall be regulated; and heightened presence of uniformed personnel to enforce quarantine procedures will be implemented.”

The Luzon-wide month-long quarantine, however, also made commuting for frontliners working in Metro Manila difficult, especially for those living in the outskirts.


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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