The government will build more “pop-up” or modular hospitals to treat coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said.
DPWH Secretary Mark Villar disclosed on Tuesday that temporary treatment and monitoring facilities and off-site hospitals would be constructed in Metro Manila to cater to the increasing number of people who contracted the respiratory disease.
Villar said some major hospitals have started to expand their capacity by using prefabricated components to speed up the construction process.
The construction of additional pop-up structures has started at the Lung Center of the
Philippines in Quezon City. Work had also started for the establishment of five cluster units of off-site hospital facilities with 110 beds for moderate, severe and critical patients.
The DPWH earlier built modular facilities to accommodate more patients at the Lung Center. It also built a temporary shelter for the medical workers taking care of the patients.
Villar said the Department of Health (DoH) was closely coordinating with public hospitals in Metro Manila for the construction of additional facilities.
He added that a mega modular hospital would be constructed at the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) compound in Mandaluyong City.
About 11 cluster units of makeshift hospital with 242 bed capacity dedicated to Covid-19 patients will be put up by the DPWH. The facility will be managed by the NCMH and DoH.
The DPWH also proposed to construct three cluster units of off-site dormitories with 96 beds as temporary shelter of medical professionals who will provide health care services at the NCMH.
According to Villar, his department has completed 635 Covid-related health facilities nationwide.
Of this number, 139 were built in the National Capital Region (NCR), where hospitals have been overwhelmed by the recent explosion of Covid-19 cases. Facilities were also built in the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal.
Villar said the nationwide utilization rate of these isolation facilities and off-site dormitories is 16.91 percent or 21,632 out of 126,358 beds.
In the NCR, the utilization rate stands at 75 percent or 4,938 out of 6,576 beds.
On Tuesday, the DoH reported 7,379 new Covid-19 cases and 21,664 new recoveries.
The total number of cases now stands at 953,106, 127,006 of which are active.
Positivity rate remains high at 17.9 percent.
The death toll climbed to 16,141 with the addition of 93 new deaths.
Hospital utilization rate in Metro Manila remains high, with 84 percent of intensive care units occupied as well as 61 percent of isolation beds and 70 percent of ward beds.
WITH RED MENDOZA