MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is ready to lend more venues to the Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to serve as quarantine facilities for coronavirus patients.
Aside from the Ninoy Aquino Stadium, which is ready for operation, PSC chairman William “Butch” Ramirez mentioned at most 7 more venues within the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex (RMSC) in Manila and the Philsports Complex in Pasig.
PSC will be offering the Rizal Memorial Coliseum, the football stadium, track oval, baseball grounds, and around two buildings for the sleeping quarters of the frontliners, the Philsports Arena and the Philsports track oval. (FAST FACTS: SEA Games 2019 venues convert into quarantine centers)
“With the development of COVID-19, I had a meeting with the commissioners and we spoke of the possibility of using our facilities because we saw in other countries that the gyms are being used,” said Ramirez in a mix of English and Filipino in the Laging Handa public briefing on Wednesday, April 8.
“I called up Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea for the use of RMSC and Philsports.”
The DOH has installed 112 beds at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium, which will be used to quarantine coronavirus-positive patients who are asymptomatic or experiencing mild symptoms.
The Ninoy Aquino Stadium was slated to start welcoming patients by Wednesday, but according to senior executive assistant and national training director Marc Velasco, the implementation date is up to the DOH and the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).
While most athletes have been sent home to their provinces, the PSC continues to take care of its athletes residing and training abroad and the 30 athletes, 2 foreign coaches and 4 Filipino coaches who were left in the Philsports Complex dormitories following the Luzon enhanced community quarantine.
“We continue to feed them and there is a medical staff there. We continue to give out salaries to our PSC employees and allowances for our national athletes and coaches. There’s also a psychology department that gives online counseling,” added Ramirez.
RMSC has been utilized during the Japanese occupation in World War II, and its venues were also used as evacuation, warehouse and repacking centers for relief goods for Yolanda victims in 2013. – Rappler.com