DPWH to finish conversion of PICC Tent as COVID facility by April 10
QUEZON CITY, Apr. 3 (PIA) — Conversion of Forum Halls of the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) as COVID-19 quarantine facility is expected to finish before Holy Thursday, a Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) official said.
“We will be working 24/7 at three shifts as we are looking to finish before Holy Thursday,” DPWH National Capital Region director Ador Canlas said.
Looking at the upward trajectory of new COVID-19 cases, the DPWH is preparing to decongest hospitals in Metro Manila by constructing new health care facilities to isolate mild to moderate cases of corona virus disease (COVID-19) patients and reserve the hospital beds instead for more severe cases.
“Time is not on our side anymore with the exponential increase in the number of patients,” DPWH Secretary Mark A. Villar said.
With the support of private firms EEI Construction and the Villar Group, the DPWH will be building 294 cubicles, constructing six nurse stations, smart houses to be used by medical staff, and tents as mess halls. PICC health facility is estimated to cater to the treatment of about 630 patients, according to the DPWH.
Meanwhile, Villar said the World Trade Center (WTC) treatment facility is ready by April 12 to house 650 beds and about a week for Rizal Memorial Sports Complex to house 600 more.
According to the DPWH, daily monitoring of health conditions of the workers, including but not limited to temperature checks, health checklists, and exposure checklists, are among the construction protocols implemented in the three (3) work sites.
Sharing of hand tools and power tools is also discouraged and regular disinfection are practiced at work areas while those workers who have pre-existing health conditions including persons above sixty (60) years old will not be allowed for deployment so as not to compromise their immune systems.
The DOH will then manage the operation of completed health facilities with possible assistance from private health care providers. (MTQ/PIA-IDPD, additional information from DPWH)