Work on COVID facilities completed in 10 days – DPWH

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    THE conversion of the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) Forum Halls and the World Trade Center (WTC) in Pasay City, and the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila into quarantine centers for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients is set to be completed in 10 days, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar said Wednesday.

    He said the three facilities will be turned into “much-needed facilities for the treatment and health monitoring of COVID-19 patients as well as patients under investigation (PUIs) and patients under monitoring (PUMs).”

    “One of the facilities is expected to be completed within the week,” he added.

    Villar said the conversion is undertaken to control the spread of the virus and take PUIs and the PUMs out of communities.

    “As most of health facilities in Metro Manila have reached or are nearing maximum capacity, the immediate conversion of PICC Forum Halls will significantly provide an optimal isolation space for monitoring of people infected by COVID-19 virus. We want to decongest the hospitals,” Villar said.

    The DPWH, EEI, and the Villar Group of Companies will undertake the conversion of the PICC Forum Halls which is a multi-purpose venue with usable area of about 4,000 square meters.

    “DPWH, EEI and Villar Group of Companies is working to accomplish the redesigning and conversion of Forum Halls 1 to 3 into COVID facility within two weeks period,” Villar said.

    The PICC health facility can house about 630 patients. It will be for the treatment and monitoring of patients experiencing mild respiratory symptoms (fever, cough, colds, etc.) and will be under the supervision of the Department of Health.

    The WTC will be converted with the support of the Ayala Development Corp. and the Makati Development Corp. while the Razon Group will handle the conversion of the Ninoy Aquino Basketball Stadium of the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.

    Villar, in an interview with CNN Philippines, said the stadium will be operation within this week. It will house patients with mild symptom and accommodate 112 patients, he also said.

    Villar also said PUMs and PUIs will be brought to the PICC and World Trade Center for monitoring and isolation.

    The Commission on Higher Education said the Sorsogon State College (SSC) will be used as quarantine center in the Bicol Region, said CHED Chairman Prospero de Vera.

    The Bicol Region has five COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday. — With Noel Talacay