Manila readies anti-COVID drugs, quarantine facilities for Omicron surge

The Manila City government is ready with anti-COVID medicines and its quarantine facilities and district hospitals for the surge in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases possibly due to the local transmission of the Omicron variant.

About 20,000 tablets or 500 bottles of Molnupiravir are set to be delivered to Manila City Hall on Monday, Jan. 3, on top of Manila’s existing stock of anti-COVID drugs believed to be effective in treating COVID-19.

“We have about 3,500 plus Remdesivir, and 700 plus Tocilizumab, and about 500 Baricitinib, and 22,000 tablets of Molnupiravir,” said Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso as he inspected the Araullo Quarantine facility on Monday, Jan. 3.

Manila has also reserved 1,374 oxygen tanks for patients with severe symptoms of COVID-19.

The Araullo High School along United Nations Avenue in Ermita, Manila was converted into the Araullo Quarantine Facility which has a bed capacity for about 55 COVID-19 patients who are asymptomatic or exhibiting mild symptoms.


The Araullo Quarantine Facility is set to function alongside the 344-bed Manila COVID-19 Field Hospital in front of the Quirino Grandstand in Ermita, Manila which is currently nearing maximum occupancy rate at about 93 percent or about 320 admitted patients.

“Just for the record, tumataas ngayon ang reinfection ng mga medical frontliner sa ating mga ospital, so kino-concentrate natin yung mga pasyente (reinfection rates among medical frontliners in our hospitals so we are concentrating our patients in quarantine facilities),” said Domagoso.

Two Manila district hospitals, the Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center (GABMMC) and Justice Jose Abad Santos General Hospital (JJASGH), have already experienced temporary emergency room shutdowns due to the influx of COVID-19 patients and increase in medical frontliners testing positive for COVID-19.

Domagoso also said during a livestream on Sunday, Jan. 2, that Manila is waiting for the go-signal from the national government to begin vaccinating minors aged five to eleven.

“We are just waiting for Pfizer and the national government to tell us kung ano ang dosage, kung gaano kadami ang ibabakuna. Wala pa pong binibigay sa aming guidelines (what the dosage will be, how much to vaccinate. No guidelines have been released yet), but rest assured mga kababayan ko, kapag ito ay pinayagan na, pwede na, (once it is allowed) we will immediately start the vaccination of five to eleven years old,” said Domagoso.