Philippines eyes classrooms as COVID-19 isolation rooms

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 20 2020 12:16 PM

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MANILA - Authorities will convert some classrooms into isolation rooms for treating patients with the novel coronavirus, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said Friday. 

Moderate cases of COVID-19 could deteriorate into severe or critical cases, which will then need isolation rooms, he said. 

"Iyong isolation rooms, tutugunan ng ating barangay health emergency response teams para tukoy na kung saan nila ilalagay... isa nga rito ang mga eskuwelahan, mga kuwarto ng eskuwelahan," he told DZMM. 

(Barangay health emergency response teams will ensure the availability of isolation, determine where these could be placed. Classrooms are among those.) 

Makeshift isolation rooms will have a gap of 2 meters between patients to ensure their comfort, he said. 

The Philippines has 935 isolation beds in public hospitals, of which 390 were already occupied as of Tuesday, Duque earlier said. 

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday placed all households in Luzon under home quarantine until April 12 to arrest the spread of COVID-19. 

The Philippines as of Thursday confirmed 217 cases of the respiratory disease, including 17 deaths and 8 patients who recovered.