MANILA - The city government of Manila on Tuesday said it has begun building a field hospital for COVID-19 patients in Luneta to decongest medical facilities already swamped amid a surge in coronavirus cases.
The P154-million field hospital can accommodate up to 336 patients and is expected to be completed within 2 months, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso said during the project's groundbreaking ceremony.
"We have some way of how to heed the call of the national government para ma-unclog 'yung ating hospital capacity at mabawasan 'yung mga insidenteng namamatay sa (to unclog our hospitals and reduce deaths in) triage or tent or parking space," the mayor said.
"We will approach this inclusively because this is a universal problem. We cannot give up," he said.
At least 150 medical frontliners will be assigned to the field hospital which will cater to mild and moderate COVID-19 cases, according to the Manila Public Information Office.
Wards will be set up using container vans on one part of the Rizal Park, an expanse of open space in Manila where visits are currently limited per COVID-19 restrictions against mass gathering.
The city government plans to add 100 more beds should the field hospital reach full capacity, it said.
"We will try to equip them so that they can continue to serve with efficiency and with the help of diagnostic machinaries," the mayor said.
"May awa ang Diyos, sana marami tayong mag-survive," he said.
Several hospitals have been seeking help from the national government since March after fresh cases of COVID-19 spiked anew a year since the virus was first detected in the Philippines.
Some hospitals also urged the Philippine Health Insurance Corp (PhilHealth) to immediately reimburse hospital claims to help medical facilities stay afloat during the pandemic.