Moreno requests extended operation of Manila COVID-19 field hospital

CEBU CITY, Cebu — Presidential candidate and Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno on Saturday said he had requested the National Parks Development Committee (NPDC) to allow the extended operation of the Manila COVID-19 field hospital at the Luneta Park.

Moreno said the contract for the Burnham Green lot ended last week.

“Sinulatan na kami ng NPDC na baklasin na. Nakikisuyo pa kami na kung pwe-pwede, magkaroon tayo ng elbow room for six months. Para kung sakali, eh hindi naman natin masasabi kung tapos na ‘yung COVID-19,” Moreno said in an ambush interview.

(The NPDC had written to us to dismantle it. We asked for an elbow room of six months if possible. Because we can’t say if COVID-19 is over.)

Though COVID-19 has become somewhat manageable in the country, Moreno recalled that the pandemic in the Philippines started with just one case.

The Health Department has logged a total of 3,680,802 confirmed cases, of which 30,527 remain active while 59,660 have succumbed to the illness.

“Also at the same time, the other side of the coin is that COVID infections started with one. And we still have a few thousand in the country. And it’s hard to build a COVID hospital facility,” he said.

“Ako ang tingin ko kaya ako nakikiusap sa NPDC na kung pwe-pwede i-extend muna ‘yung aming gamit ng lote ng Burnham Green sa Luneta dahil para handa pa rin tayo. Para boy scout ba,” he added.

(For me, that’s why we talked with the NPDC for an extension of the use of the Burnham Green lot in Luneta so we are prepared. Like boy scouts.)

The more than 300-bed capacity facility at the Luneta Park was built in 52 days.

Moreno said he did not know if the NPDC had replied to their request.

“Pero we tried to inform them [to] let it stay. Sayang. It can save lives and lives. Thousands of lives. If not hundreds. Eh, life is life. Buhay ay mahalaga (lives are valuable),” he said.

Moreno said the facility is currently empty.

“Ang good news lang, walang laman ‘yung COVID hospital natin… And we’re only about, less than a hundred COVID active infections. On a regular day for the past so many weeks, four, five, at the most ten. So salamat sa Diyos,” he said.

(The good news is that the COVID hospital is currently empty. And we have only about less than a hundred COVID active infections. On a regular day for the past so many weeks, four five, at the most ten. So thank God.)

— DVM, GMA News

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