Half of Metro Manila COVID-19 quarantine facilities in use— official

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 19 2021 03:33 PM

Half of Metro Manila COVID-19 quarantine facilities in use— official 1
The Manila city government receives a 44-bed capacity emergency quarantine facility established at Tondo High School and other medical equipment donated by the AFP and non-profit group Samaritan's Purse on May 21, 2020. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — The Philippines' COVID-19 treatment "czar" said on Friday about half of quarantine facilities in Metro Manila are occupied, as coronavirus infections surged a year into the pandemic lockdown. 

“Sa ngayon sa NCR, medyo mataas lang ‘yong usage ng mga quarantine facilities natin at 50 percent, pero sa ibang lugar hindi pa masyadong mataas,” said Public Works Secretary Mark Villar. 

“Ang national average natin is about 16 percent. Tuloy-tuloy naman ang pagtatayo namin ng mga quarantine infrastructure,” he said in a press briefing. 

(In NCR, the usage of quarantine facilities is a bit high at 50 percent, but in other areas, it's not that high yet. Our national average is about 16 percent. Our construction of quarantine facilities is ongoing.) 

Authorities have built 602 quarantine facilities with a bed capacity of around 22,000. The government aims to raise these figures to 720 facilities with some 26,000 beds in April, said Villar.

Villar's statement comes a day after treatment "czar" and Health Undersecretary Leopold Vega said about 54 percent of isolation beds and 64 percent of ICU beds in the capital region are currently occupied. 

The health care utilization rate is one basis for tightening quarantine in an area, Palace spokesman Harry Roque had said. 

But if Metro Manila's health care utilization rate continues to increase, hospitals in nearby regions can be tapped, he added.