By Minka Klaudia Tiangco
Another quarantine facility for COVID-19 patients is now being constructed in Manila in preparation for a possible surge in infections brought by the anticipated relaxing or lifting of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
In his Capital Report Friday night, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said an air-conditioned isolation facility is being built at Araullo High School to augment the Manila Infectious Disease Control Center (MIDCC) at the Sta. Ana Hospital and the Delpan Quarantine Facility.
The new quarantine facility is being constructed in partnership with Junior Chamber International (JCI) Manila, Domagoso said.
The Manila mayor said they are expecting a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in the city as parts of Metro Manila ease into the “new normal.”
With the possible lifting of ECQ or the enforcement of general community quarantine, residents will return to work or school and use mass transportation, heightening the risk of spreading the disease.
“Posibleng ma-lift o magkaroon ng kaluwagan sa ECQ, siya namang dumami ang kaso, magkahawa-hawa,” the mayor said. “Kung sakaling dadami, wala tayong paglalagyan ng PUI o COVID-positive.”
(With the possibility of lifting or relaxing of the ECQ comes a surge of COVID-19 cases, people will infect each other. If the number of cases increases, we have nowhere to put the persons under investigation or COVID-positive.)
The MIDCC has a 30-bed capacity, while the Delpan Quarantine Facility, that mostly houses probable and suspect COVID-19 cases, has a 50-bed capacity.
Aside from these, the national government built an isolation facility at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in line with its We Heal As One centers project.
The country’s first mega-testing swab center was also recently launched at Palacio de Maynila in Malate.
Domagoso said they are aiming to build more quarantine facilities that can accommodate around 400 patients.
He added that the city government will intensify its mass testing and contact tracing efforts in a bid to curb the spread of the disease in Manila.
“Patuloy nating binubuhusan ang health sector, not until makagawa ng vaccine,” he said. (We are continuously pouring our support to the health sector, until a vaccine for COVID-19 is made.)
As of Friday evening, 3,898 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and 7,807 rapid COVID-19 tests have been done on the city’s residents.
The latest city government data also showed that there are now 833 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country’s capital, with 138 recoveries and 78 deaths.