Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso on Thursday (July 30) ordered the temporary closure of the Ospital ng Maynila in Malate starting Friday (July 31) over the rising number of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) cases among the hospital staff.
In a press briefing, Domagoso said the closure will be lifted on Aug. 9. During this period, the cleaning and sanitation of the hospital and identification of infected health workers will be conducted.
At least 15 workers from Ospital ng Maynila are confirmed COVID-19 cases, the Manila mayor said. Meanwhile, 32 are awaiting their test results and 58 have recently been in contact with confirmed cases.
Domagoso said the high number of infected health workers may have come about because their hospitals cater to all COVID-19 patients, regardless if they are a resident of the city or not.
“We’re really aggressive in accepting COVID-19 patients,” he told reporters. “‘Di kasi kami nagtataboy, eh. Wala kayong naririnig sa’min (We don’t shoo anyone away. You don’t hear anything from us).”
“It is the policy of this administration na kalingahin hangga’t kakayanin (to take care of them as much as we can),” he added. “I want them to be healthy, physically, emotionally, and pyschologically, to give breathing space to our doctors.”
During the closure, all services of Ospital ng Maynila will be suspended, except for laboratory operations (including daily swabbing and IgG Serology), radiology, animal bite treatment center (for follow-up only), extreme emergency, and telemedicine.
Patients who are already admitted at the hospital will continue to be accommodated, but incoming patients will be referred to the city government’s five other district hospitals, except for emergencies.
Domagoso said Manila’s district hospitals and 12 quarantine facilities still have space to receive patients.
He also underscored the importance of maintaining the health of the city’s frontline workers in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Para maka-focus na maalagaan ang kalusugan ng mga frontliners natin sa medical sector (So we can focus on taking care of the health of the frontliners in the medical sector), (the task) is to really stop the continuing contagion among themselves,” he said.