It is paramount to rapidly adjust our infrastructure to address the current global pandemic. If you think about it, this COVID-19 update is one of the most important ones. It shows that we are catching up to fight against this virus.
The shift of infrastructure projects is changing the face of the metro, as it provides for the needs of our frontliners and the sick. Hospitals are full, that’s why our infrastructure is expanding to address this health crisis.
So how have things changed during this time of COVID-19?
COVID-focused Infra Projects on overdrive
Infra projects geared towards addressing the COVID-19 threat is in overdrive. In a little over a week, the Rizal Memorial Complex was already converted into a quarantine facility. It will be ready for use by Monday, April 6, according to National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 Chief Implementer Carlito G. Galvez, Jr.
“The Rizal Memorial Complex will be operationalized by Monday. We will inspect it and ensure the quality of its facilities,” said Galvez in a teleconference last Saturday. In fact, the Philippine General Hospital will begin transferring both asymptomatic and symptomatic COVID-19 patients by April 7.
Three doctors and fifty nurses from the AFP and PNP Medical Services will man the facility. The re-purposed Rizal Memorial Complex will have air-conditioned cubicles, and will be monitored round-the-clock by these doctors and nurses. There will also be free food for both patients and frontliners, as well as free internet connection.
Other public spaces being converted into COVID-19 quarantine centers are the Philsports Arena, the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), and the World Trade Center.
Infra changes on the local level
This COVID-19 update will not be complete without the smaller infra changes in the LGUs. A lot of small but very valuable changes are happening on the local level.
An example is the donations of buildings to help augment the capabilities of local hospitals, like this one by Senator Cynthia Villar and her family. She donated and turned over three buildings that her family built for the use of Las Piñas General Hospital (LPGH).
They will be used as an extension of the hospitals, additional quarantine areas, and will also serve as temporary housing for its staff. In addition, the Villar family has also provided food for all staff of LPGH for two weeks already.
Nakakataba ng puso na makita silang masaya sa anuman makayanan natin ibigay. Second week na natin ng pamamahagi ng daily…
Meanwhile, Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro has already found a location for the site of the city’s own laboratory for COVID-19 testing.
This was after taking into consideration the Department of Health’s (DOH) recommendations. The DOH earlier rejected their plans of putting up testing centers in the Marikina City Health Office or in Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center, stating that these do not pass space biosafety standards.
Teodoro explained that this new testing lab will be a newly-built structure with a floor area of 160 square meters, and will be completed in two weeks. The building is a free-standing structure and is located in a not-so populated area in the city.
New COVID-19 testing centers announced
Meanwhile, another important infra COVID-19 update is on testing centers. The prioritization on testing centers is now happening throughout the Philippines. Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles identifies eight new testing centers, which can now process tests for COVID-19. He explains that more centers means faster identification and isolation of affected individuals.
The testing centers are as follows:
- Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, Muntinlupa City
- San Lazaro Hospital, Manila City
- UP National Institutes of Health, Manila City
- Lung Center of the Philippines, Quezon City
- Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center in Benguet
- Western Visayas Medical Center, Iloilo City
- Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Cebu City
- Southern Medical Center, Davao City
Mass testing on the way
Galvez also mentioned that the NTF is eyeing to start mass testing for COVID-19 on April 14. They have asked the DOH to expedite the accreditation of more hospitals to boost the testing capabilities of the country.
This is in time for the release of Filipino-made COVID-19 Testing Kits. The DOST recently announced that the country is now ready to produce its own testing kits. These were developed by Filipino scientists, and are cheaper and more accurate than most foreign-based kits.