As part of its efforts to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has recently converted evacuation centers across the country into health facilities. Now, it is suggesting the use of other significantly bigger establishments in Metro Manila for similar purposes to address hospital shortages in the capital.
The agency has identified four buildings to be specific, namely: the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), World Trade Center (WTC), Rizal Memorial Coliseum (RMC), and Philippine Institute of Sports (PhilSports) Multipurpose Arena. If these were to be converted into healthcare facilities and isolation sites, the establishments could accommodate up to a total of 2,905 patients.
The DPWH also mentioned the possible use of open areas in WTC, PhilSports Arena, RMC, the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the Quezon City Memorial Circle, the University of the Philippines-Diliman campus, and the Veterans Memorial Medical Center as sites where prototype tents can be installed. The agency estimates 747 tents (three tents per 40m x 20m plot) can be installed using the space available, and this can help house up to 7,470 patients.
In addition to this, the agency is also looking at the possible usage of the old Casino Filipino in Pasay City as an isolation facility.
“In coordination with the Department of Health, DPWH through the Task Force to Facilitate Augmentation of Local and National Health Facilities headed by Undersecretary [Emil] Sadain with its technical working group composed of Bureau of Maintenance Director Ernesto S. Gregorio Jr., Bureau of Construction Director Eric A. Ayapana, Bureau of Research and Standard Director Reynaldo G. Tagudando, and Bureau of Design Director Aristarco M. Doroy has drawn up the conversion of wide-open spaces into isolation sites, where prototype tents can be installed. Tents will have proper ventilation and appurtenances, and toilets and bathrooms,” said DPWH secretary Mark Villar.
What do you think of these suggestions from the DPWH? Tell us in the comments. You can also read up on our previous stories on the ongoing COVID-19 crisis by clicking here.