Twitter: @edd1819, Instagram: @bluestar0910, Facebook: SDN — Science, Digital & Current Affairs
By EDD K. USMAN
(SDN) — INSTEAD of today, April 6, 2020, the Rizal Memorial Coliseum (RMC) in Malate, Manila, will be fully operational by Wednesday, April 8.
It will be fully operational as a haven for persons exhibiting Covid-19 mild symptoms where they will be monitored, complete with medical personnel and amenities.
National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19 Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. revealed this during his afternoon updates Monday.
He said the RMC will have 120 beds, with up to five doctors and around 50 nurses.
It was announced on April 4 through an email message to reporters sent by the task force against the pandemic that the coliseum’s conversion into a quarantine facility for patients infected with the coronavirus would be completed by today, Monday. And become operational by then.
Other sources of SDN — Science and Digital News said, citing information from the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA), the management and operation of the RMC was turned over today, Monday, to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
“The coliseum will be fully operational by Wednesday,” SDN sources said, before the official announcement.
In the email earlier, Galvez said the NTF “strategy is to transfer patients with mild Covid-19 symptoms. It will also be manned by three doctors and 50 nurses from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police (PNP).”
The pronouncement of the chief implementer of the NTF against Covid-19 was in response to the concern that there are non-Covid-19 patients who need medical attention but cannot get them because clinics are closed owing to the Luzon-wide Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).
Once the RMC is finished being re-purposed, it will feature air-conditioned cubicles, free food for patients and front-liners, free internet connection, 24/7 monitoring by AFP and PNP doctors and nurses.
To fast track the conversion of sports complexes and convention centers into quarantine sites, the government, through the leadership of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) Chief Executive Officer Vince Dizon and Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar who partnered with private firms who have pledged to support the task force’s efforts to prevent the spread of the disease and mitigate its impact.
These include the Razon Group (Prime Metro BMD Corporation and the Bloomberry Cultural Foundation, Inc.), EEEI Corporation, Vista Land, the Ayala Group (AC Energy, Ayala Land, Makati Development Corporation), Filinvest, Investment & Capital Corporation of the Philippines, Aboitiz, World Trade Center Metro Manila, Lina Group of Companies, Meralco, PLDT, Smart Communications, Globe Telecom, D.M. Consunji, Inc., and the Concepcion Industrial Corporation.
Galvez said the coliseum has a 120-bed capacity, even as the government’s bed capacity now at more than 3,000 is expected to increase because of new quarantine centers being established, including in the regions.
In Metro Manila, the World Trade Center (WTC) and the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), both in Pasay City, have added to the bed capacity.
“It was established through collaboration (conversion of RMC), it is completed and will start operating on Wednesday, with 3 to 5 doctors and 50 nurses,” the NTF chief implementer pointed out, speaking in Pilipino.
On the requirements of health workers, fondly called “front-liners”, he said the Philippines Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific will be flying Monday and Wednesday to secure 93,000 personal protective equipment (PPEs) from China.
There are currently 13,025 persons under investigation (PUIs), he said, assuring the government can cope with testing the PUIs because there are already 89,938 test kits; 20,000 have been tested with 3,600 found positive. (SDN)