MANILA - Pasig City is preparing to convert one of its existing hospitals into a health facility that will solely cater to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients, a hospital official said Tuesday, saying the private sector is in talks with the city government for the effort.
The Medical City is working with the local government to turn the Pasig City Children's Hospital, which has a 63-bed capacity, into a "COVID center," Medical City President and CEO Dr. Eugenio Jose Ramos told ANC.
"We are working to convert into a COVID center... Mayor Vico even about 4 days ago started preparing this already. Medical City would be closely collaborating with his government," he said.
The decision came shortly before Medical City, one of the largest private-run hospitals in Pasig, said that it could no longer tend to coronavirus patients.
"If we keep accepting but we have gone beyond capacity, the entire thing breaks down... We might end up losing a lot more [patients]," Ramos said.
As of March 23, 64 persons under investigation (PUI) and 18 COVID-19 patients were confined at the Medical City's ward and intensive care unit.
"Clearly, we already exceeded our capacity. Our frontline healthcare workforce is already overstretched as 137 of them are in quarantine. Unless we are able to move the new patients to other hospitals, our healthcare delivery system is going to break down," the hospital's statement read.
While Sotto has yet to announce the opening of Pasig's COVID center, the mayor frequently assured his constituents that the city government has been thinking of "creative" ways to address the crisis that has crippled various sectors in Luzon.
Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte placed Luzon - the country's most populous island group - under a month-long lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19.
As of March 24 afternoon, the global pandemic, which originated from Wuhan, China, has infected 552 patients in the Philippines. Of those infected, 35 died, while 20 recovered.
The Department of Health earlier announced that at least three state-run hospitals in Metro Manila would be tapped as referral hospitals for COVID-19 patients.