Rizal Memorial, Philsports eyed as temporary medical facilities
MANILA, Philippines – Government sports facilities under the Philippine Sports Commission such as the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex and Philsports Complex may be turned into temporary medical facilities to help decongest hospitals fighting the coronavirus.
Senior executive assistant and national training director Marc Velasco confirmed to Rappler that the Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) surveyed both facilities to assess how they can be utilized as there are a total of 1,418 confirmed cases as of Sunday, March 29.
"They're considering all the government facilities and they will decide which one to use," Velasco told Rappler in a mix of English and Filipino.
"It can be the storage of equipment, but there is still no final purpose."
PSC chairman William "Butch" Ramirez was the one who volunteered to lend the two sports complexes as venue options.
"They are government facilities, so we were already anticipating that it might come to that point," explained the sports chief, adding that he has already discussed this with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.
According to Velasco, there are over 30 athletes and coaches, medical and administration staff and officials, including Ramirez, who are staying in the PSC dormitories in Philsports.
The PSC is already crafting plans to ensure that remaining athletes and personnel are secured and isolated from the areas to be taken over. The venues will be regularly and thoroughly disinfected after use.
Last March 12, the PSC ordered the national athletes staying in dormitories to go home before the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine.
In Philsports, the multi-purpose arena and the track oval are being eyed as possible Pasig venues for the DOH, while the Rizal Memorial Coliseum, Ninoy Aquino Stadium and the Rizal Baseball Stadium are being considered for Manila.
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