PICC, World Trade Center, & Rizal Memorial Sports Complex to open as COVID-19 quarantine sites this week – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   April 6, 2020   •   642

MANILA, Philippines – Three facilities being converted into quarantine sites for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients are set to open this week, the Department of Health (DOH) announced on Monday.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said these facilities are the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), and the World Trade Center.

Duque made the announcement during his visit to the sites on Monday morning.

The Health chief said the three community quarantine sites will initially admit COVID-19 positive patients with mild or no symptoms.

“This protocol may change depending on the number of patients under investigation (PUI) & person under monitoring (PUM). If a patient’s condition worsens, he or she will be rushed immediately to a hospital for proper management and treatment,” Secretary Duque said in a statement.

The DOH said the PICC can accommodate a maximum of 294 patients, while the World Trade Center and the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex can admit 502 and 112 patients, respectively.

Duque said the PICC will be managed by the Philippine National Police Medical Corps, while the World Trade Center will be managed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

“Both the PNP and AFP will supervise the Rizal Memorial Coliseum. The DOH healthcare workforce will also be supporting these three quarantine facilities,” the DOH said.

The facilities are aimed at decongesting hospitals and containing the spread of the highly-contagious coronavirus disease.

The conversion of the three quarantine facilities is a collaboration between government and private sector, composed of the DOH, the Department of Public Works and Highways, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, and the Bases Conversion Development Authority headed by Secretary Vince Dizon, who is also the Presidential Adviser for Flagship Programs and Projects, the agency added.

To date, the Philippines has recorded 3,660 confirmed cases with 163 fatalities and 73 total recoveries.

DOH explains COVID-19 recoveries are symptoms-based, not test-based

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 31, 2020

All the mild and asymptomatic cases that had undergone quarantine for 14 days have been considered recovered after not exhibiting any symptoms of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), according to the Department of Health (DOH).

The DOH said this policy is the global standard where symptoms-based is used and not test-based in declaring a recovered COVID-19 patient.

Kapag asymptomatic po siya after 14 days without symptoms, they can already be tagged as recovered pwede na po siyang mag- trabaho (If he is asymptomatic after 14 days without symptoms, he can already be tagged as recovered and resume work), according to DOH Usec. Rosario Vergeire.

Still, Vergeire said that it is important that a recovered individual should have an assessment from a physician confirming his recovery.

The number of daily recoveries went up to over 38,000 on Thursday (July 30), with a total of 65,054 recovered cases. The daily number of cases, meanwhile, went over 3,000.

The DOH said the ‘mass recoveries’ and surge of cases is due to the ‘reconciliation efforts’ of the department to consolidate its data with the data of local government units (LGUs) through Oplan Recovery.

Oplan Recovery is the DOH’s initiative to monitor the status of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country. –AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

Rizal Memorial Sports Complex closed for disinfection after last batch of LSI leaves

Robie de Guzman   •   July 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, where thousands of locally-stranded individuals (LSI) stayed last week, has been closed for disinfection after the last batch of stranded persons was sent to their respective provinces.

The sports complex, which sheltered about 6,500 LSIs waiting for government-sponsored trips to their regions, will be closed for a day to undergo decontamination beginning Thursday morning to ensure that it is free from novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The facility includes the baseball and track stadiums.

Those working in and around the sports complex, including the employees of the Philippine Sports Commission and the Manila Department of Public Services were also evacuated.

The organizer of government’s Hatid-Tulong program said the last batch of stranded passengers comprised of 1,017 individuals have left the area early Thursday to board a ship bound for the Zamboanga Peninsula.

Since Saturday, more than 6,000 stranded individuals have been sent home through the program.

However, 48 were unable to go on their trip after they tested positive in rapid tests conducted as part of the processing of passengers.

They have been placed at quarantine centers in Manila as they await the results of their swab tests.

DOH aims to test 10-M Filipinos for COVID-19

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 21, 2020

The Department of Health (DOH) aims to target 10 million Filipinos to undergo testing for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III, however, said the government does not have the capacity to test all citizens, adding that no country has ever had the capacity to do so.

Hindi naman po natin pwede i-test ang bawa’t mamamayan wala pong bansang nakakagawa nito kahit ang pinakamayaman katulad ng United States of America (You cannot test every citizen, no country has done that even the richest ones like the United States of America),” he said.

However, Duque said they target to test 10% of the total population of the country by 2021. This would exceed the ratio testing capacity of America, Duque added.

“[Our target] is 10 million Filipinos to be tested by 2021. We hope to do the test at 32,000 to 40,000 a day,” he said.

READ: DOH to include PUV drivers in expanded COVID-19 testing

The DOH previously announced they will include other workers in their expanded COVID-19 testing while they recently announced the completion of a Filipino-made coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) test kit.

“We still have lots of testing kits. It’s about 2 million plus testing kits still left para gamitin sa goal na gusto natin (to be used to achieve our goal) for us to have sustained capacity for testing,” according to DOH Spokesperson Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire. –AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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