Presidential yacht being converted into hospital ship

    130
    Presidential yatch, Ang Pangulo will soon be a quaratined facility. (photo from pna.gov.ph)

    NAVY chief Vice Adm. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo on Sunday said the presidential yacht, BRP Ang Pangulo, is being prepared to house persons under investigation (PUIs) and persons under monitoring (PUMs) for the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

    Bacordo said the ship’s commanding officer, Commander Marissa Arlene Andres-Martinez, is coordinating with two government hospitals designated as COVID centers and the Camp Panacan Station Hospital so the vessel can be turned into a hospital ship.

    “She’s doing consultations to determine the requirements in terms of PPE (personal protective equipment), medical equipment. What the personnel on board the ship are doing now is they are fabricating the divisions,” said Bacordo.

    The ship, which is in the President’s hometown of Davao City, has yet to be used by the President during his term. Duterte has opened it for viewing by people who are visiting the city.

    On Friday, Duterte ordered the Navy to convert BRP Ang Pangulo into a hospital ship amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

    Bacordo could not immediately say when the ship can start accommodating patients, saying this will depend on the installation of medical equipment and medical personnel.

    On who would identify the patients who will be confined at the ship whose interior was likened by the President to a hotel, Bacordo said: “That will be the Department of Health, that’s beyond us (Navy) already.”

    Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, concurrent spokesman of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, said on Saturday that logistics giant 2GO, in partnership with the Department of Transportation, will convert two of its ships into floating hospitals. One of the hospital ships can accommodate about 1,000 persons and the other, 300 persons.