By Minka Klaudia Tiangco
Manila’s Sta. Ana Hospital will be converted into a COVID-19-concentrated hospital should the situation worsen, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said.
“The entire Sta. Ana Hospital will be converted, in the worst case scenario, as a primary COVID-19 referral hospital,” Domagoso said in the Laging Handa press briefing over government television on Wednesday.
He noted that the Manila Infectious Disease Control Center (MIDCC), located at the 10th floor of the said hospital, is being expanded with 22 additional rooms.
Three of the rooms will be designated as decontamination and changing areas of the health workers while the rest will accommodate COVID-19 patients and persons under investigation (PUIs) in critical condition.
As of Tuesday evening, Manila has 30 COVID-19 cases, making it the third highest in Metro Manila in terms of number of cases, following Quezon City with 72 cases and San Juan with 48 cases.
Manila also has two COVID-19-related deaths, two recovered patients, and 89 PUIs, the city mayor said.
The Philippine General Hospital (PGH) in Manila recently accepted the Department of Health’s (DOH) request to serve as a COVID-19 referral center.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III also tagged the Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City and Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital in Caloocan City as possible institutions to serve as COVID-19 referral centers.
Mayor Moreno’s statement came after several private hospitals in Metro Manila appealed to the government to designate one or two hospitals that can handle COVID-19 patients so as not to exhaust all these hospitals’ resources and to prevent depleting their workforces.
At least five hospitals in Metro Manila have declared that they have already reached full capacity in accepting COVID-19 patients.
PUI holding areas
Domagoso also said that around 5,000 rooms in public elementary and high school buildings will be converted into holding areas for PUIs with mild symptoms to ease congestion in hospitals.
“We have to separate the sick from the healthy,” he said.
“Ibig sabihin, ‘yung medyo may tama, malayo agad. Ilayo na kaagad tapos ilagay na sa isang area na pwede nilang magamit pansamantalang tirahan habang binibigyan ng mabigat at tamang pagtugon ‘yung mga nasa ospital (“This means that those experiencing mild symptoms will be isolated and given temporary shelter as patients in the hospitals receive appropriate treatment”),” he added.
Earlier, the city mayor said they also prepared the Del Pan Evacuation Center to hold PUIs with mild symptoms.