With the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) taking its toll, it’s truly changing up what we once knew as our country. From the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) up until the moment where the Philippine government decided to give the poor some sort of financial support, the situation is changing.
As a part of the Philippine government’s efforts, they’re setting up 55 COVID-19 referral hospitals across the entire archipelago. This is to make sure that there are enough resources and facilities for health workers; especially those who have been infected with the virus.
Where the 55 COVID-19 referral hospitals are
As per President Rodrigo Duterte, every region would have at least one (1) referral hospital. This is so in order for health workers as well as other frontliners who have been infected to minimize traveling; because it can be a possibility of catching the disease.
In the Metro, out of the 55 COVID-19 referral hospitals, there are a total of three (3) hospitals established. It has the capacity of isolating 1,700 isolation and quarantine beds and 620 beds specifically for COVID-19 patients.
It has been said that the local government units (LGUs) would be working with them as well as the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and the Bases Conversion Development Authority.
To add to that, the DPWH already made their move in converting the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) as well as the World Trade Center (WTC), and the Ninoy Aquino Stadium into health or quarantine facilities.
These facilities, furthermore, would be able to accommodate at least 900 people who are under investigation (PUI) and under monitoring (PUM). Their target date in opening these for the mass testing is on the 14th of April 2020.
Floating quarantine hospitals
In addition to that 55 COVID-19 referral hospitals, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) ordered the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to distinguish vessels that can be utilized to become floating quarantine hospitals.
These moves are all for one goal – to be able to accommodate all PUMs and PUIs without running the risk of spreading the infection.
The Philippine government has laid the pipe for our health workers and our frontliners; they are dominant with the numbers because as per statistics, the country has an active total of 172,744 human resources for health. It is comprised of 12,754 medical technologists; 42,108 midwives; 89,254 nurses; and 28,428 doctors – the figures are all from the public and the private sectors.
Moreover, the DPWH is also in the works of converting some evacuation centers and other applicable sites and locations to become evacuation centers. We’re nearing the day when the mass testing will happen and we hope to see positivity in those.
Health workers’ assistance
With the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, many people were flourished and excited as the tension grew. But it was the health workers and the frontliners who felt it the most. President Duterte signed the Administrative Order (A.O.) No. 28 which grants all public health workers a one-time special risk allowance.
This is for their dedication and their willingness to help even under the ECQ. But they shouldn’t worry because many people were donating what they can to health workers; including the government.
The DPWH deployed buses and coasters for their transportation – their rides are free. And there are politicians and businessmen who assisted in providing them food, money, and even transportation.
We’re all acting as one
As of the moment, a lot of government agencies and facilities are doing what they can to contribute for the improvement of the situation. Several government agencies are tasked to create and to produce face masks, face shields, alcohol, thermal scanners, and the like to improve the situation.
Moreover, some Filipino politicians and businessmen are on the move by providing the funds they can. Nevertheless, we all are hoping for a better tomorrow as the days pass.
As of writing, the total confirmed cases in the country rose to 4,076 with the total fatality count of 203. With the new 55 COVID-19 referral hospitals, we do hope that the processes for recovery and for detection would improve.
We’re inching slowly by the second in our fight and our war against our unseen enemy. Let us all pray for the best of our medical and health workers and other frontliners, too. Optimistically, we would be able to properly contain and control the virus; this is for our country to cease the growing number of cases and the fatalities it has caused.