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Razon-led firm converts stadium for COVID-19 victims

Maria Romero

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To provide more health care facilities amid the spiking cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Enrique Razon-led construction unit has transformed a sports stadium in downtown Manila into an emergency health facility.

Prime BMD, an affiliate of Prime Infrastructure of the Razon Group, on Monday said it is converting the Ninoy Aquino Stadium at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex into a level 2 COVID-19 facility.

The construction firm said it is assisting the Philippine Inter-Agency Task Force to provide additional COVID-19 treatment facilities — vital in the country’s fight against the viral disease.

The Bloomberry Cultural Foundation Inc., the social responsibility arm of Bloomberry Resorts Corp., is funding and overseeing phases 1 and 2 of the project.

According to Razon, the combined resources of Solaire’s social responsibility arm and Prime BMD were also used to bankroll some of the works in Rizal Stadium.

“We feel it our duty to provide as much support as possible to the interagency task force and to the Filipinos to respond to this crisis… This puts us in an ideal position to continue working hand in hand with the government agencies to deliver much-needed facilities,” Razon said.

Already 75 percent complete, phase 1 involves the construction of 116 patients’ cubicles, two nurses’ stations, drywall partition wall, installation of temporary furniture and conversion of facility common areas.

The second stage of the project will create an additional 108 cubicles for patients.

Prime BMD has 180 direct workers and 30 staff working on the project and has established strict guidelines to ensure proper social distancing and advanced hygiene practices on the project.

The project is being fast-tracked to respond to the urgent need for additional treatment.

Earlier, the Department of Public Works and Highways said the government will transform three public facilities, including the World Trade Center and the Philippine International Convention Center into COVID-19 facilities.

The three major facilities will operate as quarantine centers starting this week, with patients having access to 24/7 healthcare and free meals, among others.

They will all have air-conditioned cubicles with plug-in outlets, free food for patients and the medical staff, free Internet connection and round-the-clock medical assistance.

“In these facilities, there will be 24/7 medical care given by the medical professionals… For the Ninoy Aquino (stadium), the Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Corps will be taking care of our patients. There’s going to be free food for all our patients and our staff — the nurses and the doctors,” said BCDA president and CEO and Presidential Adviser for Flagship Programs and Projects Vince Dizon in a television interview.

“The idea is really twofold: we need these quarantine centers because we want to be able to move Covid-positive patients from their communities into facilities such as this. This was also done in other countries as well, but even equally important is we have to help our hospitals decongest, and allow more hospital beds to be used by more severe patients with Covid-19,” Dizon added.

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