To further prepare for a possible surge in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections, the city government of Manila is planning to convert a part of the Bagong Ospital ng Maynila into a quarantine facility.
Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said in an interview Monday that the emergency room of the 10-story hospital that is still under construction may be utilized for Covid-19 patients.
That is, in the worst-case scenario that the Covid-19 beds of the city’s six district hospitals, 12 quarantine facilities, and the Manila Covid-19 Field Hospital are exhausted.
“Ito ‘yung 50-bed capacity na emergency room ng Bagong Ospital ng Maynila. Tuloy pa rin ang construction sa ibang parte ng bagong ospital pero may mga areas na kami na pwedeng gamitin (This is the 50-bed capacity emergency room of the Bagong Ospital ng Maynila. The construction at the other parts of the hospital is ongoing but we already have areas that can now be utilized),” Domagoso said at the launch of the drive-through site for booster shots of public utility vehicle drivers aired online.
As of Monday, only 105 Covid-19 beds, or 30 percent of the 344-bed capacity of Manila Covid-19 Field Hospital, are occupied.
Last week, the occupancy rate reached as high as 95 percent.
On December 31, the city government opened the field hospital for overseas Filipino workers (OFW) and returning overseas Filipinos (ROF) who tested positive for Covid-19 upon arrival but with mild symptoms.
OFWs and ROFs may request the Bureau of Quarantine to bring them to the field hospital.
Domagoso said the free use of the field hospital is the city’s way of repaying OFWs who never stopped sending financial assistance since the pandemic began in 2020.
“So far we are in a good condition in terms of capacity but we are not still in a good condition with regard to infection kasi ‘yung infection grabe pa rin (because the number of infections is still high),” he said.
As of Monday noon, Manila has 3,413 active Covid-19 cases after recording 120 new infections. (PNA)