With the hospitals around the country reaching maximum capacity due to the influx of patients brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak, the government needs to find other alternatives, thus the need to convert different facilities into COVID-19 centers.
Before the government has announced their intention to do so, repatriated Filipinos from all over the world have already been using facilities from the South East Asian Games (SEA Games) last November as housing, particularly the National Government Administrative Center in New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac.
The Ninoy Aquino Stadium at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, the Philippine International Convention Center, and the World Trade Center have already begun the conversion process to become “fully-functional” quarantine facilities, fast-tracked to be ready for use by Friday this week. Similarly, last week, the government announced that Philippine Arena will become a “mega quarantine facility.” While none of them were truly ever meant to be a healthcare center, see what each facility is already capable of.
GOVERNMENT FAST TRACKS NEW QUARANTINE FACILITIES. The Ninoy Aquino Stadium at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, the …
Ninoy Aquino Stadium at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex
Just newly renovated, the Ninoy Aquino Stadium (NAS) inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex is the smallest of the three facilities being fast-tracked to become a quarantine center. Under normal circumstances, it can house up to 6,000 people, but if used as a quarantine facility, the NAS can accommodate 100 to 120 beds. It also comes with a parking space, allowing easier transport of patients into the facility.
Philippine International Convention Center
The Philippine International Convention Center’s (PICC) biggest hall, the Plenary Hall, can be filled with up to 4,000 people, usually for school graduations. Last November, it has witnesses the boxing events of the SEA Games. Combining the convention halls with the galleries and the tent venue, the PICC can accommodate about 300 to 350 beds.
World Trade Center
One of the largest of the chosen venues, the four event halls of the World Trade Center can accommodate up to 12,000 people in a cocktail-style event. But booth-style events can see up to 670 booths lining the halls of the center, thus making it easy for 650 beds to fill it. The smaller exhibition rooms in the second floor can add to this number of beds. The meeting rooms in the same floor can be used as smaller, more private rooms than the bigger event halls and exhibition rooms.
New Clark City Athletes’ Village
Since February, the New Clark City (NCC) Athletes’ Village already houses over 400 repatriates from the Japan cruise ship M/V Diamond Princess. But it can actually accommodate over 1,000 guests, as it has done during the SEA Games, and it is actually more ready than the other facilities, as it is already styled as a housing center rather than one for events. Only the medical equipment needs to be brought in.
Philippine Arena, owned by Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) is the biggest indoor venue in the country and can accommodate up to 55,000 people. In fact, the INC has offered their entire 140-hectare Ciudad de Victoria estate in Bulacan as quarantine facilities for the COVID-19 outbreak. The whole estate can house over 1,000 patients with over 450 suites that can accommodate two to four people each made available for frontliners.
According to CNN Philippines, the government is also eyeing the Philsports Arena, Ultra, Filinvest Tent, Duty Free Philippines, the Amoranto Stadium, as well as some open areas at the Quezon Memorial Circle and Veterans Memorial Hospital.
What do you think of this plan?