Rizal Memorial Coliseum
Rizal Memorial, PhilSports to become COVID-19 facilities
Joey Villar (Philstar.com) - March 29, 2020 - 2:15pm

MANILA, Philippines — From sports arenas, the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila and Philsports Arena in Pasig City are now being converted into makeshift medical facilities amid the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

Philippine Sports Commission chair William “Butch” Ramirez on Sunday said the Department of Public Works and Highways are now in the process of surveying and planning on how to transform the venues into temporary hospitals and COVID-19 testing areas.

The specific venues to be tapped are the track oval and multi-purpose arena at PhilSports and the track oval, Rizal Memorial Coliseum, Ninoy Aquino Stadium and the baseball field at Rizal.

“We offered the facilities to help decongest hospitals. We have the space, newly renovated, fully air-conditioned with a steady water supply. We have already discussed this with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea,” said Ramirez in a statement.

Ramirez assured though that they would put up safety nets for the skeletal PSC employees as well as the few national athletes stranded at both areas after sending home majority of the national pool due to the enhanced community quarantine.

“I understand that some sectors might become concerned over this. We are not putting our athletes at risk as all but a few of them have left for their respective homes,” said Ramirez.

“If anyone, it would be my wife, my self and the medical and security staff manning the facilities which would be nearest the risk as we all live in the complex.

“Rest assured though that we will make every step to ensure that safety of all concerned will be ensured and that the facilities are disinfected thoroughly after that virus finally say goodbye,” he added.

Recently, the PSC had also donated about 300 mattresses to several hospitals as well as a few barangays for their watchmen doing the round-the-clock frontline work.

And Ramirez pleaded to everyone to do more.

“I am sure that many of us wish we can do something, or we can do more. These challenging times call all of us to be patriots. In ordinary times but more so in extra ordinary ones as we have now, we are called upon to do heroic things. Whether to be called at the frontlines or stay home, we can all do our share to be part of this problem’s solution,” he said.

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