Health authorities are hopeful the Philippines, under various levels of lockdown since March 17, will be able to shift to more lenient quarantine protocols by the first quarter of 2021, should local government units be able to sufficiently comply with standards on prevention, contact tracing, and treatment.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire in a public press briefing Saturday said the government had set milestones and “safeguard conditions” which would serve a local government unit’s metric to shift to modified general community quarantine—the most lenient of the four quarantine classifications in the government’s pandemic response protocol.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier in the week announced that Metro Manila, the epicenter of the virus, along with six other areas remained under general community quarantine—the second most loose quarantine classification—until the end of November.
New COVID cases
The Philippines logged on Saturday 1,803 new coronavirus disease 2019 cases in the country, bringing the total to 380,729, the Department of Health reported.
The DOH also reported 36 new fatalities, bringing the death toll to 7,221.
There are 42,462 active cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines.
There were seven duplicates which were removed from the total case count. Of these, three were recovered cases.
Moreover, 14 cases previously tagged as recovered were reclassified as deaths.
A total 12 labs were not able to submit their data to the COVID-19 Data Repository System on October 30, 2020.
The Department of Public Works and Highways on Saturday reported the completion of four coronavirus disease facilities with over 300 beds in Metro Manila.
DPWH Secretary and isolation czar Mark Villar said the medical healthcare facilities for COVID-19 patients and healthcare professionals were in the cities of Parañaque, Makati, and Marikina and the Municipality of Pateros.
The completed quarantine facility is composed of 84 air-conditioned rooms equipped with hospital beds, tables, chairs, and a private comfort room.
Four nursing stations were also included in the project construction to provide a convenient area for health professionals to take a break and recharge.
“As part of the DPWH’s initiative in assisting the ongoing battle against COVID-19 pandemic, we are making sure to efficiently provide patients and our medical professionals such facilities with this project completed earlier than the target date,” Villar said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the DPWH said it had completed and turned over a new 44-bed capacity COVID-19 isolation facility to the city government of Makati.
Villar said the makeshift hospital that comes with a nursing station and an X-ray room inside Makati Aqua Sports Arena was put up by DPWH Metro Manila 2nd District Engineering Office from 40-foot container vans.
The completed facility is fully-airconditioned and is equipped with hospital beds, tables and chairs, and a private comfort room for each of the patients’ rooms.
It was turned over on October 29 by the DPWH chief to Makati Mayor Abigail Binay and Makati Rep. Luis Campos.
The DPWH also reported the completion of a 136-bed capacity quarantine/isolation healthcare facility in Barangay Nangka, Marikina City.
He said the DPWH Metro Manila 1st District Engineering Office converted 37 40-foot container vans and a 20-footer container van into 136 air-conditioned rooms that will be used as a temporary medical facility for suspected and confirmed Covid-19 cases with mild symptoms.
The facility includes eight rooms for health workers, two rooms for X-ray and Laboratory, two rooms for Doctors and Nurse Station, and an electrical room.
Villar said the 62-bed capacity isolation facility made from 34 container vans was also completed by the DPWH MMFDEO inside Pateros Elementary School Gymnasium.
The facility also comes with an office, health workers’ dorm room, a control center room, and a laboratory.
“We are continuously converting containers into mobile health facilities to assist the Department of Health in fighting COVID-19,” Villar said.