The Manila city government is racing against time to build a new field hospital with a 336-bed capacity for mild and moderate COVID-19 cases at Rizal Park.
With ongoing 24/7 construction, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso on Saturday (April 17) said they are targeting to open the Manila COVID-19 Field Hospital in two months.
It is being built on Rizal Park’s 2.8-hectare Burnham Green. On April 14, the Department of Tourism (DOT) gave its go signal to the Manila city government for the hospital’s construction.
Domagoso said they aim to declog hospitals of mild and moderate COVID-19 patients so the city’s doctors and facilities can better cater to severe and critical cases.
“May namamatay sa parking lot ng ospital, sa tent, or what you call triage, sa public or private hospital at puno ng magkahalong pasyente ang mga eto, both public and private (There are people dying in parking lots of both public and private hospitals, in tents or what you call triage. These hospitals are full of patients with varying stages of illness),” he said in a live broadcast on Facebook on Saturday.
“We are going to build the seventh hospital in Manila… para maiwasan ang kamatayan, ang walang kapararakang kamatayan na nangyayari sa parking lot at tent dahil hindi sila ma-accommodate sa loob ng ospital dahil puno (to prevent the senseless deaths that are happening in parking lots and tents because patients cannot be accommodated inside full-capacity hospitals),” he added.
Once the new field hospital starts accepting patients, the space that will be freed up in the city’s six district hospitals will be used for around 60 ICU beds and equipment, Domagoso said.
“Gagaan ang trabaho ng mga doktor na espesyalista sa COVID ward at maaalagaan nang husto ang mild to moderate (The work of specialist doctors at the COVID wards will be lighter while mild to moderate cases will be properly taken cared of),” he said.
The Manila mayor guaranteed that he will restore Burnham Green to its original state once the pandemic is over.
“Sa mga nagaalala na ito ba ay masisira, opo, ako na po ang nagsasabi sainyo, maaari pong masira ang grass. Basta, ang garantiya ko, ibabalik ko ‘yan (To those who are worried if the place will be destroyed, yes, I’m the one telling you now that we might ruin the grass. But my guarantee is that I’ll return it to you) in pristine condition,” he assured.
Members of the Manila Health Department and Manila Department of Engineering and Public Works joined Domagoso in planning for the construction of the field hospital a week ago.
They drew inspiration from the emergency field hospitals set up in Italy at the height of the global COVID-19 crisis in March 2020.
Data from the city government showed that the capital city has 3,959 active COVID-19 cases out of 52,557 confirmed cases as of Saturday noon.
Of this number, 47,570 have recovered while 1,028 have died.