By Analou De Vera
The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday said the three hospitals designated as coronavirus disease (COVID-19) referral centers have already begun operations.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP) and Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital (DJNRMH) are now handling COVID-19 patients.
“The Lung Center currently has 22 COVID-19 positive patients and 29 persons under investigation (PUIs), while DJNRMH has 14 confirmed cases and 13 PUIs,” Duque said, while the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (PGH) started operating as a COVID-19 referral center on Monday (March 30).
Duque also added that the Quezon Institute (QI), which is being eyed as one of the community quarantine facilities, is now “preparing to accept patients.”
“We expect the QI to be ready to accept patients by Monday (April 6). They now have three triaging tents set up,” said Duque.
Distribution of personal protective equipment (PPEs)
The Health chief also said the initial 15,000 PPE sets procured by the department have been distributed to different hospitals.
Of the initial 15,000 PPEs, the Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Center received 1,100; the East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC), 770; San Lazaro Hospital, 2,780; LCP, 2,800; PGH, 2,000; and DJNRMH, 2,590.
The remaining 985,000 PPE sets from an order of one million sets are expected to arrive between April 6 to 27.
“The expansion of the country’s PPE supply comes as the DOH ramps up efforts to build the country’s capacity to handle COVID-19 cases,” Duque said.
“We would like to assure them (frontliners) that we are coming up with ways to protect them and to recognize the valuable work that they do. We are deeply grateful for their heroic efforts.
“The team is trying to arrange for a bigger plane to transport the PPEs to health care workers faster. We are working with the aviation industry to see what can be done,” he added.