MANILA, Philippines – More than a week after President Rodrigo Duterte volunteered his presidential yacht to be used as a coronavirus "hospital," the Philippine Navy opened BRP Ang Pangulo to take in patients.
In a statement on Sunday, April 12, the Navy said BRP Ang Pangulo "is now ready to accept COVID-19 patients as necessary works to transform the vessel into a floating quarantine facility were already finished."
It can accommodate 28 patients and 5 medical personnel, added the Navy.
Three exclusive compartments were prepared for the patients, with temporary dividers in place to observe a 3-meter distance between them. Patients and medical staff would have different access points.
"The crew will remain onboard while the ship is being utilized as a quarantine facility. They were already provided with PPEs (personal protective equipment) while rapid antibody tests were conducted," the Navy said.
"All entry points from the crew's billeting area and other compartments from the temporary medical facility and patient rooms were already sealed off."
In a speech on April 3, Duterte said he ordered the Navy to convert BRP Ang Pangulo into a hospital "right away."
As of Sunday, there are 4,648 coronavirus cases in the country, with 297 deaths and 197 recoveries. – Rappler.com