MANILA – The Ninoy Aquino Stadium (NAS) inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Malate is ready to serve as quarantine area for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) asymptomatic and symptomatic patients beginning Wednesday.
In his briefer on Monday, National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19 chief implementor, Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. said the government has converted NAS into a 120-bed quarantine area to isolate and treat Covid-19 patients.
“The facility is equipped with Wi-Fi and was turned into a comfortable 120-bed quarantine area,” said Galvez, also Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process.
Galvez along with Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III visited the RMSC quarantine area for monitoring on Monday.
He said the government and the private sectors pooled their resources to build comfortable recovery shelters for the patients.
National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 chief implementor Carlito Galvez, Jr. and Health Secretary Francisco III visit the Ninoy Aquino Stadium quarantine facility. (Photo courtesy of NTF against Covid-19)
Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) President Vince Dizon said the quarantine site was turned over to the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police medical corps on Monday.
The military medical corps, composed of three doctors, five to 10 nurses, and 20 staff, will manage facility in compliance with the DOH policies.
Galvez also announced that both the quarantine areas of the Philippine International Convention Center and World Trade Center in Pasay City will be open this week.
He said PICC and World Trade Center quarantine areas can house 294 and 502 patients, respectively.
“We fast-tracked the completion of these facilities in order to decongest our hospitals and to protect our front-liners,” Galvez said.
Aside from comfortable rooms and access to internet, Galvez said the patients and medical workers will also be provided with meals.
Duque, for his part, said only asymptomatic and with mild symptoms patients will be housed at the three facilities.
“This protocol may change depending on the number of patients under investigation and persons under monitoring. If a patient’s condition worsens, he or she will be rushed immediately to a hospital for proper management and treatment,” Duque added.
The conversion of the three quarantine facilities is a collaboration between government and private sector, composed of the DOH, Department of Public Works and Highways, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, and the BCDA.
Galvez said the government is shifting its focus on gradual mass testing starting in the National Capital Region to identify and isolate all possible Covid-19 carriers.
“We now have 89,938 testing kits and we will start with the testing here in the NCR, the epicenter. [Followed by] regions 4, 3, Davao, and Zamboanga peninsula,” he said.
A DOH data shows a total of 20,092 persons were tested for the Covid-19 with 20 percent or 3,616 of them have been tested positive.
Galvez said over 13,000 patients under investigation (PUI) will be tested in the coming days. (With reports from Ma. Teresa Montemayor/PNA)