MANILA – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) formally opened the Task Group-Rizal Memorial Coliseum (RMC) Covid-19 Quarantine Facility in Malate, Manila Monday.
The 100-bed facility will be used to house suspect coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases, AFP public affairs office chief Navy Captain Jonathan Zata said in a statement.
An emergency medical team from the AFP Health Service Command composed of four military doctors, nine military nurses, and 17 medical aides will man the RMC Covid-19 quarantine facility.
An administrative staff consisting of six military officers and six enlisted personnel will also join the team.
“The AFP takes pride in our military doctors, nurses, and security personnel who continue to risk their lives battling the dreaded disease in the frontlines. The military organization is grateful, especially to our members manning the temporary treatment facilities in aid of our people who currently face the threat of the virus,” AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Felimon T. Santos Jr. said.
Following the blessing ceremony, a lecture on post-mortem care for Covid-19 patients was held at the facility.
The discussion was led by Ruel Capunan from the Department of the Interior and Local Government which was attended by 30 medical workers.
“The AFP salutes our modern-day heroes who continue to fight as one in the name of patriotism and the undeniable love for humanity. Let us continue to work hand in hand, confident that we will emerge triumphant as one nation against any kind of crisis,” Santos said.
On Sunday, military officials graced the blessing of the newly-operational mega swabbing center at Enderun College, McKinley Hill, Taguig City.
Soldiers from the Philippine Army and personnel from the Philippine National Police are assigned to man the second mega swabbing center as encoders and barcoders who will assist the medical personnel that will conduct swab testing to patients.
Santos, AFP Surgeon General Col. Nelson Pecache, and Department of Health-National Capital Region (DOH-NCR) Assistant Regional Director Dr. Ma. Paz Corrales witnessed the blessing of the mega swabbing center.
“The AFP is always prepared to provide necessary assistance to the national government in its fight against Covid-19. Manning these medical facilities may be different from our day to day responsibilities, however, your armed forces is always ready to answer the call wherever and whenever our help is needed,” Santos said.
The swabbing center is one of the four “mega swabbing centers” seen to increase the capability of the country, especially in the greater Manila area, to test people for Covid-19.
The center is estimated to conduct 1,000 to 1,500 reverse transcription-polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests per day. RT-PCR is known as the “gold-standard” for diagnosing Covid-19.
The other three mega swabbing centers are in Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan, Mall of Asia in Pasay City, and in Palacio de Maynila in Malate.
Since the start of the Enhanced Community Quarantine in Luzon, the AFP has been supporting the government in its efforts in fighting the Covid-19.
Aside from supporting the PNP in implementing the ECQ, the AFP used its land, sea, and air assets to support the logistics operations of the government in transporting essential supplies while the ECQ is in effect.
The AFP is also conducting humanitarian efforts to alleviate the negative effects of the crisis to Filipinos in this time of crisis, such as the distribution of relief goods, hot meals, and food packs to less fortunate individuals and families. The AFP also gave free rides for stranded front-line personnel and students.
“These efforts of the AFP are in support to the national government, ensuring that the welfare of the Filipinos is taken care of amid the pandemic in our country and that no Filipino will be left behind in this fight against Covid-19,” Santos said. (ia/PNA)