MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday, April 13, said the country now has 75 hospitals with dedicated facilities for coronavirus patients and which can accommodate 3,194 patients.
These coronavirus referral hospitals have “centralized” medical facilities for treating coronavirus patients, but the DOH has yet to release the list.
Before this announcement by Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, there were only 3 known referral hospitals, all in Metro Manila: the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) in Manila, the Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City, and the Dr Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital in Caloocan City.
Aside from referral hospitals, the DOH also said that it is converting viable public spaces – such as open fields with tents, vacant hotels – as treatment and monitoring facilities. They have a combined bed capacity of 4,413, Vergeire said.
Vergeire also said two passenger vessels were being tranformed into quarantine sites for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and returning seafarers. The vessels can accomodate 800 and 300 each.
“These are where they will be quarantined for 14 days upon their return to the country,” she said in Filipino.
As of Monday, the Philippines has 4,932 cases of coronavirus, with 315 deaths and 242 recoveries.
On Monday morning, Vergeire said the coronavirus pandemic in the country might last until January 2021 if no intervention is done.
The government will begin “massive testing” on Tuesday, April 14, but this will cover only the following:
- Patients or health care workers experiencing severe to critical symptom with history of exposure to a coronavirus patient and history of travel.
- Patients or health care workers experiencing mild symptoms with history of travel and contact; and belong the vulnerable population such as those with other medical conditions such as cancer and diabetes, elderly, and pregnant women.
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