MANILA—The Makati city government has renovated four of its quarantine facilities to expand its treatment capacity amid the surge in Covid-19 cases, particularly in Metro Manila.

In a statement on Thursday, Mayor Abigail Binay said the city’s isolation facilities located at the Barangay and Ospital ng Makati (OsMak) are now ready to accept coronavirus patients needing critical care.

Each of the three temporary emergency quarantine facilities (EQF) at the Pembo Elementary School can accommodate 14 critical cases while the EQF at the parking space of the OsMak also has 14 beds.

Binay said these beds will be allocated to patients under emergency care as the intensive care units of the OsMak and its wards reached full capacity.

“The EQF tents were intended as temporary facilities to help treat more patients from OsMak. They served their purpose at the time Makati needed it most,” she said.

Binay said the EQFs started operations on Wednesday.

“Unfortunately, we are experiencing a surge in cases one year after the pandemic first broke, so it is time to increase the capacity of OsMak so we can better serve our Makatizens,” she added.

The city government alongside WTA Architecture and Design Studio built these temporary EQFs in April last year.

Makati also constructed negative isolation tents at the ambulance bay of OsMak to further contain the spread of the virus nearby the quarantine facility.

“We did everything we could to curb the spread of the virus in Makati. However, with the new strains and the workforce returning to business-as-usual, it has become more challenging to keep transmissions at a low rate,” she said.

Amid the cases surge, Binay said these tents were upgraded to house more coronavirus patients.

“The best we can do right now is equip our hospitals and create more facilities where we can immediately treat Covid-19 patients and nurse them back to good health,” she added.

In early February last year, the city government has converted Makati Friendship Suites into a quarantine center, located at the Barangay Cembo.

Various barangay health centers in the city have also set up their respective isolation areas to cater to those experiencing Covid-19 symptoms.

In October last year, the Department of Public Works and Highways has established a 44-bed isolation facility inside the Makati Aqua Sports Arena.

The makeshift hospital, made from 40-foot container vans, has a nurse station and an X-ray room. It is also fully air-conditioned, equipped with hospital beds, tables and chairs, and a private comfort room for each of the patients.

So far, this facility is fully operational.

Binay reminded anew her constituents not to be complacent amid the readiness of the city to treat more cases.

“The best way to protect yourselves and your families is to follow health protocols and guidelines,” she said. “Wear your masks and face shields every time you go out of your homes, always wash and sanitize your hands, follow social distancing, and as much as possible — stay home.”

Residents are urged to get tested when experiencing Covid-19 symptoms or have been exposed to the virus.

Metro Manila and four nearby provinces namely — Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal have been placed under a weeklong enhanced community quarantine to contain the rise of Covid-19 infections. (with reports from Lloyd Caliwan/PNA)





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Aquilino Managbanag

By Aquilino Managbanag

Aquilino Managbanag EXPERIENCE: Four years at The Asian Pacific Post, a weekly Canadian newspaper founded in 1993 in Vancouver, British Columbia. The newspaper specialized in reporting Asian issues, and has a readership of 160,000. It has a sister publication in The South Asian Post. EDUCATION: University of Santo Tomas – Manila -- The private Roman Catholic research university is Asia’s oldest existing university. The university takes pride in keeping the Catholic faith and beliefs prominent while holding true to its centuries-old tradition of academic excellence.