Three COVID-19 quarantine facilities in Metro Manila ready by April 12

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 2) — Three facilities being converted into quarantine centers will be operational on or before April 12, Inter-Agency Task Force spokesperson Karlo Nograles said Thursday.

Once the transformation is done, the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) Forum Halls, the World Trade Center in Pasay City and the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila City can house close to 2,000 COVID-19 patients.

Nograles said the Rizal Sports Complex, which will house 600 patients with mild symptoms, will be fully ready by April 10. The World Trade Center, which will be completed by April 12, will have 650 beds. The conversion of PICC will be finished by April 10. He said this will lessen the burden on hospitals nearing overcapacity with the surge of COVID-19 cases in the country.

The Cabinet Secretary said that even before the facilities are completely converted, partial operations will be started in sections of the buildings chosen.

He previously said symptomatic patients awaiting their COVID-19 test results will be placed in separate rooms to avoid infection. He said placing them in guarded quarantine facilities would ensure they don't pass the virus to their family members.

The staff who will man these facilities will be provided by the Health Department. Military medical workers and volunteers from the private sectors are also seen to extend help. The Villar Group of Companies, Ayala Development Corporation, Makati Development Corporation, and the Razon Group are undertaking the refitting of the PICC, World Trade Center, and Rizal Memorial.

Nograles added the government is also considering the Quezon Institute, Ultra, Duty Free Philippines in Parañaque, Amoranto Stadium, Quezon Memorial Circle, and Veterans Medical Center into isolation facilities.

The national and local government units have identified 125 evacuation sites nationwide to prepare for future surges in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country, which as of Wednesday, has breached the 2,300 mark.