The Philippine government has prepared mass quarantine facilities for patients with the coronavirus, officials said yesterday, as the number of infections surged to more than 3,000 and deaths jumped to 136.
The 29 additional deaths were the highest reported in a day, but the Department of Health said the “sudden spike...is attributed to the late reporting of previous deaths.”
The department also reported 358 new confirmed cases of Covid-19, bringing the country’s total to 3,018, as more tests are completed with eight laboratories now able to process specimens.
“It is clear that the number of cases of Covid-19 is not yet going down,” Beverly Ho, a spokesperson for the health department, told a daily briefing.
“We must get used to a different kind of normal while no vaccine has yet been discovered against Covid-19 and the Filipinos have not build up immunity to Covid-19,” she added.
Ho reminded the public that the best weapon against the virus was preventive measures such as “good habits that hopefully become second nature” to all Filipinos.
Amid the rising cases, the government is readying 12 quarantine facilities that could house thousands of sick patients across metro Manila and the island of Luzon, said Vince Dizon, a member of the inter-agency task force on Covid-19.
“We are doing this to stop the spread of the coronavirus in our communities,” he said.”With the help of the Department of Health and local government units, sick patients will be brought to the facilities so they won’t spread the virus.”
“We all know that because of the number of people getting sick, our hospitals are already getting full,” he added.
“With these facilities, we hope to stop the people from overwhelming our hospitals so they can prioritise the critical and severe patients.”
Dizon said the facilities will be housed in existing structures, such as government convention centres, sports stadiums and trade halls.
They will have separate cubicles, air-conditioning and even Wi-Fi Internet.
On Thursday, the government ordered the mandatory wearing of face masks for people on the main island of Luzon, which has been on lockdown since March 16. Luzon, where the capital of Manila is located, is home to more than half of the Philippines’ population of an estimated 100mn. The government said authorities were still determining if the restrictions will be lifted or expanded.
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