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COVID-19 WATCH

Go lauds conversion of public facilities into isolation sites

Elmer N. Manuel @tribunephl_lmer

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Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Friday commended concerned agencies for their initiatives to augment the availability of quarantine facilities in the country and the immediate action in heeding his early call to prepare the New Clark City to serve as a “safe haven” for returning overseas Filipinos who are stranded or have to undergo self-quarantine measures.

The senator – who is also the chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and a member of the Joint Oversight Committee — acknowledged the efforts of the Department of Public Works and Highways and Bases Conversion and Development Authority to convert several public facilities into isolation sites and tent cities to cater to persons under investigation (PUI) and persons under monitoring (PUM).

Several facilities have been proposed to serve as isolation sites including the Philippine International Convention Center, World Trade Center, Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, and Philippine Institute of Sports Multi-Purpose (PhilSports) Arena.

These will be converted into isolation facilities for almost 3,000 patients.

Meanwhile, the open grounds of these facilities, and that of the Quezon Memorial Circle, University of the Philippines-Diliman Campus, Veterans Memorial Medical Center, and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) will also be utilized for prototype tents where a total of 747 tents may be deployed to accommodate up to 7,470 patients.

Tents will have proper ventilation and appurtenances, and toilets and bathrooms, according to the DPWH.

The DPWH is also eyeing the old Casino Filipino building near the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 as an isolation facility. Four open spaces at the Philippine General Hospital were also identified by the DPWH which could accommodate COVID-19 patients.

The department is also in cooperation with real estate developer DMCI for the conversion of the Quezon Institute, FTI in Taguig City, Filinvest Tent and Duty Free Philippines in Parañaque, and the Amoranto Stadium in Quezon City as either tent cities or isolation facilities.

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