MANILA (UPDATE) - The national government has ordered all local government units (LGU) to identify facilities that can be used to temporarily isolate coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients, a Cabinet official said late Friday.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) and other government agencies are also directed to help in identifying establishments that can be converted into quarantine facilities for patients under investigation (PUIs) and those experiencing mild symptoms of COVID-19, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) shall conduct site inspection and commence work on the identified facilities as approved by the National Task Force on COVID-19, added Nograles, spokesperson of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
Accredited construction workers who will work on the identified facilities shall be exempted from the strict home quarantine requirement.
Faced with the potential influx of coronavirus cases in medical facilities, some LGUs have already converted several facilities dedicated to COVID-19 cases.
To date, the Philippines has recorded 803 cases of the novel coronavirus.
The tally, which is expected to rise because of the increased testing capacity of the country’s laboratories, include 54 fatalities and 31 patients who recovered from the disease.
The Philippines has scrapped public events, closed schools and advised people to work from home in a bid to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.
The COVID-19 pandemic has so far infected 465,000 people and killed 21,000 others in 199 territories and countries, latest data from the World Health Organization (WHO) showed.