COVID-19 quarantine facility in Muntinlupa City to open next week

Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 13 2020 02:31 PM | Updated as of May 13 2020 02:55 PM

MANILA - A quarantine facility for mild and asymptomatic coronavirus disease patients in southern Metro Manila is set to open next week, officials said, with its management turned over to the Bureau of Fire Protection. 

The 108-bed facility, located at The Filinvest Tent in Alabang, Muntinlupa City, is seen as a boost in the public health system's capacity in responding to the pandemic, which has prompted extended lockdowns in high-risk areas. 

“This will help the national government to ramp up our health system's capacity as we endeavor to reduce the number of new cases reported on a daily basis, and hopefully there will be greater consistency in terms of our objective in flattening the (COVID-19) pandemic curve,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.

The facility’s cubicle size, beds, and water repellent curtains passed the standards of the Department of Health. It is airconditioned and has free wifi. Toilet cubicles are equipped with a handheld shower sprinkler, since there are no separate shower areas.

The BFP has committed to provide around 70 personnel, including 3 doctors and 56 nurses, for the quarantine site.

It has also set up a technical decontamination facility outside the tent for personnel who will be transporting COVID-19 positive patients.

The facility also includes a tire bath for ambulances, an area where personnel’s protective suits will be sprayed with disinfectant before disposal, and a shower tent. Personnel are also expected to undergo regular vital sign checks at the facility. 

BFP Director Jose Embang Jr. said the "added value" at the facility is that it is equipped for two kinds of decontamination. 

“Magkaroon naman sila ng peace of mind na 'yung virus ay hindi nila dala outside this facility,” he added.

(They [personnel] will have peace of mind that they won't bring the virus outside the facility.)

The BFP also designed improvised isolation pods for ambulances carrying COVID-19 positive patients to prevent contamination.

The Office of Civil Defense, meanwhile, will provide supplies for the facility and the patients.