(Eagle News) — The Department of Transportation and the Philippine Ports Authority have begun the conversion of two managed quarantine facilities into isolation facilities for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
In a statement, the DOTr said the conversion of the Eva Macapagal Super Terminal in Pier 15, Manila and the Port of Capinpin Quarantine Facility in Orion, Bataan was in response to the “urgent need of hospitals and other medical facilities, which are now full with COVID-19 patients being treated.”
They are expected to be operational starting April 9.
According to the DOTr, the Department of Health will provide the manpower and equipment needed for the operations of the facilities.
The Eva Macapagal Super Terminal in Pier 15 is expected to have 211 cubicles distributed in different zones to accommodate patients with mild, advanced, and severe COVID-19 infections.
The facility is also equipped with hospital beds, portable toilets, cargo containers for showers, and open-air dining facilities.
Meanwhile, the Port Capinpin Quarantine Facility in Orion, Bataan, formally commissioned in October 2020, has a 124-bed capacity which includes 25 cubicles intended for high-risk individuals, separated by a fully-equipped nurse station.
Two rooms with 12 bunk beds each are likewise allotted for medical frontliners.
The facility was initially intended to accommodate seafarers participating in crew change activities, returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), as well as non-OFWs, the DOTr said.
“Sa paraang makatutulong ang Kagawaran ng Transportasyon, hindi ‘ho kami mag-aatubili diyan. Hindi bale nang masabi na ‘this is beyond our mandate.’ This situation is a medical emergency. Kaya’t bubuksan, patutuluyin at aarugain natin sa ating mga pasilidad ang mga kababayan nating nangangailangan ng tulong. Wala ‘ho tayong pipiliin,(We won’t hesitate to help. It doesn’t matter if we’re told ‘this is beyond our mandate. This situation is a medical emergency. So we will open, accommodate and take care fellow Filipinos who need help in our facilities)” Transportation Secretary Art Tugade said.
As early as March, several hospitals in Metro Manila announced they would no longer accept COVID-19 patients for the time being, as their wards were already at 100 percent full capacity.
These hospitals included St. Luke’s Medical Center Global City, St. Luke’s Medical Center Quezon City, The Medical City, Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center, and Asian Hospital and Medical Center.
The Philippines is battling a surge in COVID-19 cases, which the Palace has attributed to the presence of COVID-19 virus variants.