Philippine Arena to start accepting COVID-19 patients next week
MANILA, Philippines — The massive Philippine Arena will start operation next week as the country’s mega quarantine facility for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients, National Task Force (NTF) on COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. said Wednesday.
Galvez said in a statement that the Iglesia Ni Cristo-owned indoor arena can accommodate 300 patients with mild symptoms, and house 300 health workers, but Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) President and CEO Vince Dizon said the facility “can later be expanded to cater to up to 2,000 patients.”
The arena will serve COVID-19 patients from Quezon City, Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela, and Bulacan.
Before the facility starts accepting COVID-19 patients, the structure of the tents need to be slightly modified due to safety reasons, Galvez said.
“Dahil y’ung requirement ng DOH ang sinusunod natin, most probably ‘yung model natin sa Rizal Memorial ang gagamitin natin, so papalitan natin ‘yung partition. Hindi pwede ang tela kasi kumakapit ang virus doon. Papalitan natin ng acetate,” Galvez explained.
A separate housing facility located within the complex has been designated for around 300 medical frontliners who will be stationed at the quarantine area.
Aside from the Philippine Arena, the government is also converting the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), the Rizal Memorial Complex, and the World Trade Center into quarantine facilities as the government gears up for the targeted mass testing of suspected coronavirus carriers.
The government is converting these massive conversion centers and sports facilities into isolation sites as hospitals and health care centers struggle to accommodate more COVID-19 patients.
The Department of Health reported Tuesday afternoon 104 new cases of the respiratory disease in the country, bringing the country’s total infection to 3,764. Meanwhile, a total of 84 patients were able to recover although 177 have died.
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