Lung Center needs bleach in COVID-19 frontlines

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 01 2020 07:26 AM | Updated as of Apr 01 2020 07:33 AM

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The Lung Center of the Philippines on Wednesday called for donations of bleaching agents that will be used to sanitize its laboratory and rooms for patients with the novel coronavirus.

The Quezon City hospital needs about 100 gallons of bleaching agents like Chlorox or Lysol per month to disinfect the 66 rooms that it allotted to COVID-19 patients and its laboratory that runs tests for the respiratory disease, said its spokesperson Dr. Norbert Francisco.

"Iyong mga kuwarto na ginamit ng COVID patients doble, triple po ang stripping nito. Hindi po uubra iyong ordinary na linis lang. Lalo na ngayon, nag-uumpiisa na iyong aming COVID testing laboratory napakatindi po ng paglilinis na kailangan dito," he told DZMM.

(The rooms of COVID patients need double, triple stripping. Ordinary sanitation won't cut it. Especially now that our COVID laboratory has begun testing, we need thorough cleaning.)

The Lung Center has one machine that can analyze 40 samples from suspected COVID-19 patients every 10 hours. There are two medical technicians who run the tests. The hospital is training more personnel to do the tests and aims to get one or 2 more machines for the screening, said Francisco.

The hospital converted some of its rooms into dorms for workers. Some nearby hotels also offered free lodging to the hospital employees, he said.

Donors earlier pledged ventilators to help patients breathe and gave the Lung Center safety gear for its workers, the current supply of which would last for 2 weeks, Francisco said.

"Napakadaming tumutulong. Ang bayanihan spirit ng Pilipino, napakabuhay ngayon," he added.

(Many people are helping out. The Filipino communal spirit is alive.)
The Philippines as of Tuesday confirmed 88 deaths out of its total 2,084 cases of the novel coronavirus. The tally could continue to climb following the recent delivery of test kits and the accreditation of additional screening laboratories, said the health department.

Metro Manila and the entire Luzon, home to about half of the country's 100 million people, is under lockdown until April 12 to contain the pandemic.