MANILA – Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Monday visited the Ninoy Aquino Stadium (NAS) in Rizal Memorial Sports Complex that was converted into a patient care center to help isolate those with symptoms and control the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Go, chair of the Senate Committee on Health and a member of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee monitoring the implementation of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, was joined by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr., House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso, Bases Conversion and Development Authority President Vince Dizon, and Office of Civil Defence Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad during the ocular inspection.
Other officials also conducted ocular inspection of the World Trade Center (WTC), Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) Forum Hall and other facilities on Monday.
“Isa sa aking panawagan noong mga nakaraang linggo ay ang pagbuo ng quarantine areas gamit ang mga available facilities na pwedeng mai-convert into isolation sites (One of my requests last week was the establishment of quarantine areas using available facilities that can be converted into isolation sites),” Go said.
With the availability of the facilities, Go said the government can use these for aggressive campaign to contain the spread of Covid-19.
The health authorities said the WTC, PICC and NAS patient care centers will house mild and asymptomatic patients while Rizal Memorial Stadium will be a Covid-19 step-down facility.
With the facilities in place, a total of 1,125 beds are now available to patients from Metro Manila and nearby regions.
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa lahat ng tumulong at nag-facilitate ng conversion ng mga facilities na ito (I would like to thank those who helped and facilitated the conversion of these facilities),” Go said.
The facilities will be managed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police medical corps composed of doctors, nurses and medical staff.
Go said they conducted the ocular inspection to make sure that the facilities are ready to provide the needs of the patients as well as the medical supplies, particularly personal protective equipment (PPE), for health workers.
The Department of Health will provide PPE units for health workers while these facilities will also offer free laundry services. Meralco and PLDT will also provide free electricity and wi-fi connection, respectively.
Go turned over 49 boxes of toiletries and 31 boxes of slippers from private donors to the NAS facility.
Other facilities outside Metro Manila like the Philippine Arena, Tarlac Convention Center and New Clark City are also being converted into these centers.
After visiting NAS facility, Go also joined the officials who went to Pier 15 in South Harbor in Manila to check the ships offered by 2GO Company as floating quarantine facilities.
They were met by Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and Philippine Coast Guard officials in charge of converting the private passenger vessels into temporary floating patient care center compliant with health standards.
Two ships are now readily available to receive patients in need of medical treatment and emergency. The first ship has a 350-bed capacity and can be used as accommodation for medical front-liners, while the other ship has a 1,500-bed capacity.
Go said conversion of more facilities into patient care centers is another proof that the government continues to work hard with the help of the private sector to address the Covid-19 pandemic. (PR)