The government is reopening three mega quarantine facilities in Metro Manila to help decongest hospitals affected by the continuous spike in COVID-19 cases in the region, the Health Department said on Wednesday.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told a media forum officials have decided to “reactivate” the Rizal Memorial Coliseum, the Ninoy Aquino Stadium, and the Quezon Institute—which were all previously closed after cases started to decrease months ago.
“Tatlo po ito na naisara dati dahil wala nang masyadong gumagamit—nire-reactivate na po, and in a matter of days, bubuksan na rin natin,” Vergeire said, citing information from Isolation czar and Public Works Secretary Mark Villar and other government officials.
[Translation: These are three facilities that we closed before because not a lot of people use it. These will be reactivated, and in a matter of days, will be reopened.]
Vergeire said the government will be “re-strategizing” the use of the quarantine facilities, which she said can also act as step-down care centers for recovering patients.
“Ibig sabihin, ‘yun pong medyo gumagaling na at pwede na pong bantayan na lang sa mga ganitong facilities, ay gagawin na po natin para ma-decongest ang hospitals,” she explained.
[Translation: This means, those who are already recovering and can be monitored in these kinds of facilities—that’s what we will do to decongest hospitals.]
According to Vergeire, the Rizal Memorial and Ninoy Aquino Stadium have recently reopened their doors, with 97 and 127 beds, respectively, for patients. She said the Quezon Institute, which has 112 beds, will be opened on Monday.
Several hospitals in Metro Manila have reported critical capacity for COVID-19 patients as infections continue to rise. The National Capital Region alone has logged over 320,000 cases, while the country’s nationwide tally jumped to over 741,000 on Tuesday.
Aside from reopening quarantine centers, Vergeire said the government will also recall doctors and other medical professionals deployed in other regions less affected by the pandemic.
“We are returning them to their original or their home hospitals or institutions, para po makatulong po sila dito sa response na ito (so that they can help in our response),” she noted.