DOH eyes Quezon Institute, Philippine Red Cross as quarantine facilities

Bonz Magsambol
DOH eyes Quezon Institute, Philippine Red Cross as quarantine facilities
The Department of Health is also looking into the possibility of transforming evacuation centers in schools into quarantine facilities for persons under monitoring and those probed for the coronavirus

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) is eyeing the Quezon Institute and the Philippine Red Cross as “community quarantine facilities” for persons probed and monitored for the coronavirus as well as COVID-19 patients who are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an interview aired on PTV-4 on Wednesday, March 25, that this would help decongest hospitals and isolate mild cases from from coronavirus patients with severe symptoms.

“Sa ngayon nga po, tayo po ay nakikipag-usap sa pamunuan ng Quezon institute at Philippine Red Cross (We are talking now to the management of Quezon Institute and the Philippine Red Cross),”  Vergeire said.

The Quezon Institute, located in Quezon City, is operated and managed by the Philippine Tuberculosis Society, Incorporated, a nonstock, nonprofit organization. 

Vergeire said that the quarantine facilities will house persons under monitoring (PUMs), persons under investigation (PUIs) with mild symptoms, and COVID-19 patients who were sent home since they had mild symptoms or were asymptomatic. (READ: DOH: Released patients do not need another test if vital signs normal)

“Ang layunin po ng ating gobyerno ay para hindi maghalo ang ating mga severe at critical with our mild and asymptomatic, and of course to decongest our hospitals para naman po hindi ma-exhaust ang ating system at and magkaroon po tayo ng ibang options for this,” Vergeire said. 

(The aim of the government is to separate the severe and critical cases from the mild and asymptomatic cases, and of course to decongest our hospitals so that our system won’t be exhausted and we can have other options for this.)

St Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City and Bonifacio Global City, as well as The Medical City earlier said that they could not accept more COVID-19 patient as they had exceeded maximum capacity. 

Acting on the urgent appeal of medical industry leaders, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier gave the go-signal to turn the Dr Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center and a building at the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) for exclusive use of coronavirus patients.

Evacuation centers as quarantine facilities

Over the weekend, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said 125 evacuation centers in different parts of the country were being prepared to serve as coronavirus facilities for PUIs and PUMs.

Vergeire said on Wednesday that the DOH was also looking into the possibility of transforming evacuation centers in schools  into quarantine facilities. 

“Ang mga evacuation centers po natin sa mga eskwelahan ay titingnan din po natin on how we can properly and appropriately na magamit ng mga pasyente base sa pamantayan ng standards ng isang community quarantine facility,” said Vergeire. 

(We’re also looking into how we can properly and appropriately transform the evacuation centers in schools for our patients based on the standards of a community quarantine facility.) 

During the press briefing, Vergeire urged local government units to set up their own quarantine facilities, citing examples from the City of Manila and Quezon City. 

As of Tuesday, the Philippines has 552 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 35 deaths and 20 recoveries. – Rappler.com

 

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Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.