A 66-bed quarantine facility for coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) patients was opened at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) in Intramuros, Manila Thursday morning.

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The new isolation center is the 14th facility built by the city government. It has 16 air-conditioning units, electric fans, free food and WiFi, and designated health workers to ensure that COVID-19 patients have a comfortable stay while being treated.

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, who led the facility’s launch, said it was built in partnership with the Department of Public Works and Highways.

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Domagoso said they are setting up as many quarantine facilities as possible in anticipation of a surge in COVID-19 infections, given how densely populated the capital city is.

Aside from mass testing, keeping infected people in isolation facilities is the most effective way to curb the spread of the deadly disease, he said.

The Manila mayor also assured residents that they have nothing to fear should they contract COVID-19 because the city government will take care of them and their families.

Earlier, the city government sent food assistance to the families of workers who tested positive for COVID-19 through its free mass swab testing operations.

“I think wala na tayong dapat masyadong ipangamba (we do not have much to worry about),” he told reporters.

“‘Pag nakumpleto ‘yung loop na ‘yon, pag ‘yon ay naging habit at nabago ang mindset na tao na pwede palang konprontahin ang (When we complete that loop, when that becomes a habit and we change the public’s mindset that it is possible to confront the) pandemic, we are now going toward our vision that we can live with COVID-19 every day, at the same manner, we can go back to work safely,” he added.

Manila has 13 other isolation facilities, namely, T. Paez Quarantine Facility, P. Gomez Quarantine Facility, C. Arellano Quarantine Facility, Dapitan Quarantine Facility, Bacood Quarantine Facility, Tondo Sports Complex Quarantine Facility, Patricia Sports Complex Quarantine Facility, Araullo Quarantine Facility, Tondo Quarantine Facility, G. Del Pilar Quarantine Facility, Gen. Gregorio del Pilar Quarantine Facility, Manuel L. Quezon University Quarantine Facility, and San Andres Sports Complex Quarantine Facility.

The city has an overall capacity of 591 beds in its isolation facilities.

Domagoso on Wednesday said they only have a 68-percent occupancy rate in their quarantine facilities and a 33-percent occupancy rate in their six district hospitals.

Data from the city government showed that Manila has a total of 19,089 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday noon. Of this figure, 604 are active cases, 17,928 have recovered, and 557 have died.

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