By Angela Casco

Halfway into the second week of enhanced community quarantine and we have witnessed more acts of volunteerism, generosity, and inventiveness than we’ve ever seen before—at least in providing accessible shelters for frontliners.

Hotels from various cities have resumed partial operations to accommodate Filipinos with essential work who have difficulty commuting due to the quarantine’s suspension of mass transportation. A number of individuals have also made their vacant condo units and AirBnb ready for temporary occupancy.

As the battle against Covid-19 continues, though, more assistance is pouring in to house security guards, cashiers, restaurant servers, delivery staff, drugstore clerks, bank employees, and especially health workers.

The Palms Country Club A - Establishments repurposed to accommodate Covid-19 frontliners

The Palms Country Club B - Establishments repurposed to accommodate Covid-19 frontliners

ACCESSIBLE AT LAST The Palms Country Club in Alabang will be housing frontliners from RITM, which is just a four-minute drive away from each other

The exclusive Palms Country Club in Alabang, for instance, has announced that it will be allowing staff from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) to stay in their facilities, all “to to help our frontliners and the immediate community.” RITM is the country’s main novel coronavirus testing center. It is just a four-minute drive away from the sporting and social facility.

“Your board has, upon the request of RITM, approved the use of our facilities as temporary accommodation for health workers, doctors, and nurses of RITM,” the country club writes in an advisory to its members. “Only makeshift sleeping and shower facilities will be used with RITM providing their own sanitation crew.”

The advisory has also reassured its members that prior to re-opening the establishment, thorough and deep cleaning of the facilities will be conducted, as well as a quarantine period.

In Tandang Sora, Quezon City, an owner of a newly-built student dormitory called My Rainbow Place has opened all of its 105 rooms for health workers. Each room can accommodate four people, which brings the total slots available to up to 420.

My Rainbow Place Dormitory - Establishments repurposed to accommodate Covid-19 frontliners

SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW A total of 104 rooms are available for QC health workers’ temporary occupancy at a student dormitory called My Rainbow Place

“We volunteered to allow nurses, volunteers, and frontliners to stay in our dormitory for free during this crisis,” says its owner, David Lim. “The Quezon City government is now coordinating with all hospitals in the city for their stay. This is the least our family can do for all the frontliners risking their lives for us.”

Mirick Paala, leader of the CrisisBnb initiative connecting frontliners and temporary house sponsors, says interested health workers can send their name, contact number, occupation, and location of workplace via Facebook messenger so he can also coordinate with the city’s LGU.

We volunteered to allow nurses, volunteers, and frontliners to stay in our dormitory for free during this crisis. This is the least our family can do for all the frontliners risking their lives for us.

Pasig’s LGU, meanwhile, has converted a hotel into a quarantine center, too.

“[Dahlia Hotel] can hold at least 300 people at once,” Mayor Vico Sotto writes in a Facebook post. “Kailangan handa tayo [We need to be ready]. [We will] strictly supervise a 14-day quarantine of PUMs and PUIs with mild to moderate symptoms, one way to minimize community risk.”

Dahlia Hotel Pasig - Establishments repurposed to accommodate Covid-19 frontliners

FROM GUESTS TO PATIENTS Dahlia Hotel in Pasig has been converted into a quarantine facility and now accommodates PUMs, PUIs, and Covid-19-positive patients

With Medical City’s declaration that it has already reached full capacity and can no longer accommodate any more Covid-19 patients, the city is also looking into converting one of its medical facilities, the Pasig City Children’s Hospital, into a center solely dedicated to detecting and treating the viral disease. Its 63-bed capacity is expected to accommodate more PUMs, PUIs, and patients who have tested positive with Covid-19.

Pasig City Childrens Hospital - Establishments repurposed to accommodate Covid-19 frontliners

A CHANGE OF PURPOSE Pasig City Children’s Hospital is about to become a center focused on dealing with Covid-19-related patients

While Sotto has not made any official announcement about the plan, an official from Medical City has confirmed that the private-run hospital is closely coordinating with the mayor about the possibility of opening the Covid-19 center.

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