Barring hitches, we in the city of Manila are looking forward to having a hospital that will cater exclusively to COVID-19 patients suffering from mild to moderate symptoms, two months from now.
I and Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna, after a 72-hour brainstorming with concerned heads of offices, departments and bureaus in the city along with authorities from the Philippine General Hospital, decided to go ahead with our plan to declog the six city-run hospitals with the establishment of this field hospital.
Once done, the COVID bed allocations in our six city-run hospitals will already be made available for those under severe and critical conditions only. These beds will be turned into intensive care units (ICUs) which are badly needed these days.
Manila’s seventh hospital which will be called, “Manila COVID-19 Field Hospital,” will sit on a 2.6-hectare lot. It will have 336 COVID beds in all, for patients falling under the mild and moderate cases and will utilize containers.
The said hospital will be built at the Burnham Green area right across the Quirino Grandstand and fronting the Independence Road which serves as parade grounds during national events. It is located near the drive-thru center which we put up in the area for the purpose of conducting free swab testing for motorists. On the average, about 100 motorists avail of the said free swab tests daily.
City engineer Armand Andres, city architect Pepito Balmoris and other concerned city personnel will be working on the construction of the field hospital round-the-clock, since time is of the essence.
It is highly lamentable that based on reports reaching yours truly, some patients die in tents and even in the parking lots while waiting for accommodation, owing to the congestion in hospitals amid the overwhelming surge in coronavirus cases recently.
And while all these are happening, we in the city government of Manila have been conducting meetings to address another reported impending surge of coronavirus cases in the months to come.
Under the plan, while all asymptomatic patients will be made to stay at the city’s quarantine facilities, those with mild and moderate symptoms will be placed in the field hospital so that the six city-run hospitals will now be able to focus on COVID patients with severe and critical condition.
I won’t be ashamed to admit that I copied the concept from the one done in Italy, whose architect made the concept an “open source” so it can be duplicated elsewhere.
The Manila COVID-19 Field Hospital will be complete with all the needed facilities including ambulances, proper equipments and medical frontliners, in consideration of the fact that those with moderate symptoms still face the possibility of being elevated to severe cases.
We have to get ready for what may happen five months from now or even for December. If the prediction of another surge in June or July does not materialize, well and good. But we have to think and prepare way ahead of time.
As usual, all services in our upcoming COVID hospital will be given free of charge even to those who are non-Manilans.
As I have repeatedly said, the coronavirus is a universal problem which should be addressed inclusively.
The city government of Manila will do its very best to embrace as many as possible, even non-Manilans, in order to declog more hospitals.
We would love to help everyone instead of those residing outside of Manila and who are infected walking around and going about their daily routine in our city. This is why we have been providing swab tests for free.
As of this writing, I and Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna and all other concerned city officials continue discussing the nitty gritty of building the said COVID hospital. It is indeed a very challenging task unlike quarantine facilities where all that are needed are airconditioning units, wifi and food.
We intend to build our seventh hospital in 60 days. If Italy was able to do it, so can we.
Gaya ng paulit-ulit kong sinasabi, kailangan ko ang tulong ninyong lahat. Walang magmamalasakit sa Maynila kundi tayo ding mga Batang Maynila. Manila, God first!
For updates on latest developments in the city of Manila, please visit my Facebook account – ‘Isko Moreno Domagoso.’