Press Release

Palace announces opening of modular hospital, other isolation facilities this week

A modular hospital with 110-bed capacity that can accommodate moderate to severe cases of COVID-19 was inaugurated today, April 6, 2021 at the Quezon Institute in Quezon City, according to Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr.

“Ito po ay isang temporary facility na binuo po ng ating DPWH at ito po’y for moderate and severe cases kase meron po syang central oxygen line. Eto po yung modular hospital sa grounds po ng Quezon Institute,” Secretary Roque said in his press briefing today.

For those who would like to avail of the services of the modular hospital at the Quezon Institute, Sec. Roque advised, “Pupwede po kayong tumawag sa One Hospital Command Center kung gusto nyo pong magpa-confine dito sa Quezon Institute modular hospital for moderate and severe COVID cases.”

Aside from the modular hospital at the Quezon Institute, Secretary Roque said that there will be several other facilities that are set to open this week to augment the need for more beds for COVID patients. Among these are the following: Subic Manila Times Colleges with 300-bed capacity, New Clark City with additional 165 beds; Eva Macapagal Terminal Manila with 200 beds, and the Orion Bataan Port Terminal with 100 beds.

On the matter of risk-based and targeted testing as the country’s testing strategy, National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) Deputy Chief Implementer and Testing Czar Secretary Vivencio “Vince” Dizon explained that an individual should not undergo testing without following guidelines or without an assessment on whether he or she should undergo testing or not.

Dizon further explained that the individual should not determine his or her eligibility for testing. Rather, the person should be recommended for testing by a doctor if he or she would fit into the guidelines set by experts, like being a close contact of a COVID-19 patient or if the person had exposure or came from an area with a high incidence prevalence of COVID-19.

The Testing Czar said that during this recent Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) period, the testing average is more than 50,000 tests per day, almost half of which are tests from the National Capital Region (NCR) plus bubble. Sec. Dizon said that it follows that there are more tests coming from areas with a surge in cases because of the active case finding that is being implemented.

Meanwhile, Dr. Edsel Salvana of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the National Institutes of Health-University of the Philippines Manila, explained that that the timing of testing is important and affects the accuracy of the test.

Dr. Salvana said that it will take about three days from exposure to the virus for a person to even test positive using RT-PCR test, with only about 33 percent chance of testing positive. He added that once symptoms appear, which is usually on the fifth day, the accuracy of the RT-PCR test is about 62 percent, and about 80 percent on the third day of the appearance of symptoms.

Salvana said that if targeted testing is not done, and a person is tested without considering the timing of the test, especially if the person is asymptomatic, there is the danger of clearing someone, two out of three times, that the individual has COVID but would test negative on the RT-PCR test.

On achieving herd immunity in areas with a surge in cases like the NCR plus bubble thru vaccination, NTF Chief Implementer and Vaccine Czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said that this is one of the strategies being considered by the national government and recommended by experts.

This means targeting the most populous areas and those that were mostly affected, especially the economic centers. Sec. Galvez said that these areas include Metro Manila, Greater Metro Manila, Region 4A, Region III, including Cebu, areas in Davao, Region 6, and Region 9. ### OPS-PCOO