PH to build mobile isolation facilities; COVID-19 testing 'virtually free': Palace


Posted at Apr 05 2021 10:20 AM | Updated as of Apr 05 2021 10:38 AM

Tents are set-up to accommodate probable or suspected COVID-19 patients outside the Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center in Tondo, Manila on August 5, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA - The Philippine government will build mobile isolation facilities as COVID-19 cases continue to rise nationwide, Malacañang said Monday.

Metro Manila hospitals earlier declared full capacity for virus patients, prompting government to place the capital region under strict lockdown until April 11.

Government has built a 110-bed capacity quarantine facility at the Quezon Institute in Quezon City, and will add 160 additional beds to Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital (Tala Hospital) in Caloocan, said Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.

"There are now plans to build mobile tents, ICU facilities of up to 200 beds," he told ANC's Headstart.

"We’re doing what other countries did at the height of their own pandemics, we’re relying now on mobile hospitals."

Coronavirus testing is also free except for persons without symptoms, Roque said.

"Testing is virtually free if you're an economic frontliner, a medical frontliner, if you've had exposure or if you have symptoms. It's only the asymptomatics without exposure who want to test who will have to pay the required fee," he said.

"We’re not giving to everyone but we’re doing it on a targeted basis."

Roque made the remark in response to calls for mass testing as the country's positivity rate increased, or the number of people who get tested for coronavirus and turn out positive.

The Philippines has increased its coronavirus testing to 50,000 per day, said Secretary Vince Dizon, who heads said cluster of government's COVID-19 Task Force.

The figure is less than half than the 130,000 daily COVID-19 tests that the UP COVID-19 Pandemic Response Team recommended to better track the spread of the virus.

Vice President Leni Robredo earlier said Metro Manila needs to conduct at least 90,000 tests daily to get a more accurate figure of the pandemic.

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