Gov’t readies 3 large convention, sports centers for COVID-19 patients

Published April 2, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Genalyn Kabiling

Three large convention and sports centers are being readied to become fully-functioning quarantine facilities by next week as the government continues to improve its capacity to address the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

According to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, and the World Trade Center can accommodate a total of 1,950 individuals when their furbishing preparations are completed by April 10 to 12.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei B. Nograles (SCREENSHOT / RTVM / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei B. Nograles (SCREENSHOT / RTVM / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

“We would like to report that the PICC will be ready by April 10. The facilities are being prepared by the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) and EEI Corporation and when completed, this will have 700 beds,” Nograles said in a virtual press conference Thursday.

“The Rizal Memorial Sports Complex being readied by PRIME-BMD or Razon Group will be ready by April 10 as well, and will be able to house 600 beds,” he added.

The World Trade Center will be ready by April 12. The facility, which is being set up by Investment & Capital Corporation of the Philippines (ICCP) and Ayala or Makati Development Corp., will have 650 beds, according to Nograles.

“Together, these three structures can accommodate a total of 1,950 individuals. Salamat po sa ating mga private sector partners sa tulong at pagmamalasakit ninyo (Thank you to the private sector partners for your help and compassion),” he said.

Nograles said the three large facilities may be used even with partial completion of the furbishing works.

The government has also identified possible quarantine and isolation facilities such as the Quezon Institute, ULTRA, Duty Free Philippines Parañaque, Amoranto stadium, Quezon Memorial Circle Complex, and Veterans Medical Center complex.

The New Clark City Athlete’s Village will also remain as a temporary quarantine facility, Nograles said.

Nograles said the the government aims to identify and care for those who have contracted new coronavirus disease, contain the outbreak, and manage its impact on the people.

“By now all of us are aware of the gravity of the threat before us. Hindi po ordinaryong sakit ang COVID-19. Kaya naman po ginagawa po lahat ng gobyerno para matigil ang pagkalat ng virus na ito (COVID-19 is not an ordinary disease, which is why government is doing everything to prevent it from spreading),” he said.

“Decisive action has been taken to ensure that millions stay home in order to contain this outbreak and government has marshaled all its resources to ensure that every Filipino family is taken care of during this very, very trying period,” he said.

The government earlier prepared an inventory of government and private buildings that will serve as isolation and quarantine facilities amid the rising cases of COVID-19 in the country.

Nograles said the government may also tap maritime vessels to serve as floating quarantine facilities. Hotels and similar establishments have also been identified to serve as temporary medical facilities in every region of the country.

“So, lahat po ng regions ay nakaimbentaryo na po ang lahat ng maaari nating puwedeng gamitin kung saka-sakaling kailangan nating gamitin ang lahat ng mga iyan (We have an inventory of possible facilities in all regions if ever we need them),” Nograles said.