Press Release
March 25, 2020

Nancy to DOH: Tap Rizal Memorial Complex as controlled facility for PUIs
...says LGUs can convert sports complexes, hotels as clearing facilities

Sen. Nancy Binay today asked health and local officials to explore the possibility of converting recently-upgraded sports facilities into quarantine centers for COVID-19 patients under investigation.

"While waiting for test results, and as long as strict protocols are followed and biosecurity precautions are in place, I believe sports complexes like the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila can be an option than having PUIs sent back to their homes," Binay pointed out.

According to the senator, the newly-restored sports facility can be one of the better options in order to decongest PUIs in hospitals which have already gone over their allowable bed capacities.

The Rizal Memorial Sports Complex (RMSC) houses the 8,000-seat capacity Rizal Memorial Coliseum, dormitories, an open-air track, baseball and football fields, tennis and other indoor sports facilities.

"Di natin alam kung hanggang kelan itong krisis. Sabi ng DOH, in 3 to 4 months PUIs may peak to thousands based on estimates and projections. If there will be no interventions to decongest hospitals and provide alternative half-way centers, mas lalo nating pinapabigat ang sitwasyon. It is for the best interest that there should be interventions made to isolate PUIs or PUMs from the rest of the population," Binay noted.

Given the rising number of patients positively confirmed having COVID-19, Binay said sports complexes or small hotels in the provinces may be evaluated if these can be appropriately used as evacuation and community quarantine facilities based on required health and medical standards.

"Of course biosafety issues and risks must be considered at all times. Pero kailangan din natin maging proactive and come up with strategies that will stem the spread of the coronavirus, and do our share in defeating an invisible enemy," Binay added.

The senator suggested that provincial governments could follow the lead of Albay where a hotel in Tabaco City was repurposed as quarantine center for cases of COVID-19, the same with other LGUs which also dedicated half-way quarantine facilities in their respective areas.

"As a precautionary and preventive measure, LGUs may lead the creation of strategies to proactively respond to a public health emergency. Kailangan ng preemptive response--and having a controlled clearing house ensures the public that the government is on top of the situation," Binay noted.

She added that by having a controlled quarantine facility, LGUs can achieve minimal community transmissions thereby ensuring the public's health and safety.

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