In 2017 — I attended the Emerging Leaders Program at the Harvard Kennedy School which was chaired by Dr. Elaine Kamarck and Dr. Christopher Robichaud. In our class on ethics — we discussed about the responsibilities of public action via a simulation exercise of an unfolding pandemic.
The question is fairly simple — what decision would you make to save your country from a crisis which you had no prior experience to draw from. We knew from the onset — the state of the country, the infection rate, the public moral and the likelihood of a country collapse. Every team — which represented a particular sector — knew how to “win” the game. Decisions were time bound and with limited information.
During the de-briefing, I realized that the only way the country would survive the zombie apocalypse was if all sectors decided to set aside their personal interests and collaborate in working towards a unified solution.
The novel coronavirus has disrupted the global economy. The pandemic has locked down cities, brought travel and tourism to a near standstill and disrupted life in an unimaginable way. But now navigating a pandemic becomes more challenging with the deadly threat of misinformation.
Is there a shortage of isolation facilities? No. The nationwide utilization rate is only at 16.91 percent or 21,362 out of 126,358 beds.
According to Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, a total of 635 isolation facilities and off site dormitories have been completed — 139 of which are in NCR.
Among the facilities that are already operational include the PICC Forum QF, the Philippine Sports Complex QF, the CCP Complex QF, the Filinvest QF, the Manuel L Quezon University QF, the Pasay City Sports Complex, the Parañaque City College QF, the Makati Aqua Sports Arena QF, among others.
In NCR, the utilization rate is now at 75 percent or 4,938 out of 6,576 beds. However, this data does not include the beds which utilizes hotel rooms under Oplan Kalinga.
To augment the country’s critical care capacity — DPWH has also constructed modular hospitals.
This week, the Quezon Institute Modular Hospital which has a total bed capacity of 110 beds — became operational. It is equipped with ICU rooms intended for patients exhibiting moderate to severe symptoms.
Earlier, DPWH also completed two units of modular dormitories with 64-bed capacity for the medical front-liners manning the operation of Quezon Institute.
DPWH also facilitated the creation of extensions for level three hospitals utilizing similar modular fabricated components in Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital and the Lung Center of the Philippines.
Five modular hospitals are currently being constructed in the following locations: the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, Quezon Institute, the Lung Center of the Philippines, the Southern Philippine Medical Center and Dr. Jose Rodriguez Hospital.