Philippine Arena to start receiving COVID-19 patients next week: task force chief

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 08 2020 11:26 AM

MANILA - The Philippine Arena is set to receive coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients next week, the chief implementer of the government's coronavirus response team said Wednesday.

The world's largest indoor arena can accommodate 300 patients with mild symptoms, and house 300 health workers, National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 Chief Implementer Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. said in a statement.

The government just needs to modify some materials used in the isolation area to ensure that it complies with the Department of Health's standards, Galvez said.

"Papalitan natin 'yung partition. Hindi pwede ang tela kasi kumakapit ang virus doon. Papalitan natin ng acetate," he said.

The Iglesia Ni Cristo-owned facility can "later be expanded to cater to up to 2,000 patients," said Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) President and CEO Vince Dizon.

The arena located near the northern boundary of Metro Manila can accommodate patients from Quezon City, Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela, and Bulacan, the officials said.

Aside from the Philippine Arena, the government is also converting the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), the Ninoy Aquino Stadium, and the World Trade Center in the capital region into quarantine facilities as authorities expect a rise in COVID-19 patients as soon as mass testing begins next week.

As of April 7, at least 3,764 patients in the Philippines tested positive for COVID-19, with 177 deaths and 84 recoveries.