Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana. (File photo)

MANILA – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) can activate field hospitals and deploy medical units to augment public and private hospitals treating people infected with the coronavirus virus disease (Covid-19) should the need arises.

“We can but we may need additional personnel. Our hospitals are also now treating Covid-19 patients and we have also fielded two teams to Cebu,” Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a message Thursday night when asked if the military can lend a hand should the number of Covid-19 patients continue to rise.

As of July 16, Covid-19 cases in the country have reached 61,266, with 21,440 recoveries and 1,643 deaths.

Last June 28, the AFP deployed a military medical team composed of nine doctors, 10 nurses, and 13 medical aides in Cebu to help in ongoing efforts to contain the spike of Covid-19 cases in the city.

Should the situation call for it, then Lorenzana said the AFP can respond to the situation immediately.

“Yes, we can,” he added.

The AFP has already deployed 405 medical personnel in various emergency quarantine facilities nationwide, including the Ninoy Aquino Stadium, World Trade Center, and Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Metro Manila.

Over 1,500 doctors, nurses, and military medical auxiliary are also deployed in military treatment facilities in the country. (PNA)