Public schools in Metro Manila are slowly being refurbished to serve as isolation centers for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients, Malacañang said Wednesday.
In an interview with CNN Philippines, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the government is currently waiting for the passage of the Bayanihan 2 legislation since renovating schools would incur expenses.
“We are now building more isolation facilities. As you know, the Department of Education has agreed to lend us 50 percent of all schools. While they’re not yet ready for immediate use, we are looking forward to using these as isolation centers,” Roque said.
He, however, expressed confidence that they could easily be transformed into isolation centers since there would be no need to build structures.
“The good thing is that with the public schools, we don’t really need to build structures. We just have to buy beds, linens, and provide for kitchens for these public schools when we use them as isolation centers,” Roque said.
Last week, Education Secretary Leonor Briones allowed the use of school facilities since face-to-face classes would not be possible.
Roque noted that the use of public schools as isolation centers would augment the facilities being built by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
In addition to public schools, the government is also using dormitories and hotels as isolation centers, he said, adding that 250 beds recently designated for Covid-19 patients at the East Avenue Medical Center have raised the hospital bed capacity in Metro Manila.
According to Roque, all mild and asymptomatic Covid-19 patients without their own rooms and bathrooms should submit themselves to isolation centers to prevent transmission among members of the household.
Community health care workers, he said, would also conduct house-to-house visits in search of Covid-19 patients.
Besides medical front-liners, Roque said priority workers in the manufacturing and tourism sector would also receive regular reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or swab tests.
He also expressed confidence that after heeding the request of medical front-liners to have a two-week modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) placed over Metro Manila and the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and Bulacan from August 4 to 18, the government was able to successfully reinvigorate the country’s health care capacity.
As of Tuesday, there were a total of 169,213 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country, of which 112,861 are recoveries, 53,665 are active cases, and 2,687 death toll. (PNA)
Photo Credit: www.pia.gov.ph