Residents wearing facemasks cross a street after the government imposed an enhanced quarantine as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Manila on March 25, 2020.
AFP/Ted Aljibe
Ships, hotels, convention centers to be converted as quarantine sites
Gaea Katreena Cabico ( - March 31, 2020 - 11:19am

MANILA, Philippines — The government will convert maritime vessels, hotels and large facilities such as the Philippine International Convention Center and the World Trade Center as quarantine sites as the number of new coronavirus cases continues to rise in the country.

The surge in the number of COVID-19 cases and persons suspected to have infection overwhelm hospitals in the country, with several healthcare facilities in Metro Manila announcing they would no longer accept new cases.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said on Tuesday that the Philippine International Convention Center and the World Trade Center in Pasay City as wells as the Rizal Memorial Complex in Manila will be converted into “fully-functional” quarantine facilities housing COVID-19 patients, patients under investigation and persons under monitoring.

The Department of Public Works and Highways, in cooperation with private entities, will complete all works necessary to turn these large facilities into quarantine sites.

The Department of Transportation was ordered to identify maritime vessels that can serve as “floating quarantine centers.”

The Department of Tourism, meanwhile, was directed to identify hotels and other similar establishments as quarantine facilities in every region of the country. The Bureau of Quarantine will assess the adequacy of such facilities.

Composite teams manning the quarantine facilities are composed of personnel from the DOH Centers for Health Development and regional offices of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, local government units and uniformed services.

The main island of Luzon entered its third week of enhanced community quarantine to arrest the spread of the contagion that has now infected 1,546 people in the Philippines—78 of whom have died.

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