The world’s largest indoor arena, Philippine Arena in Bulacan, has started operating as a mega swabbing center and its surrounding estate has been turned into a quarantine facility.
The Bulacan swabbing facility has 96 booths with a capacity of conducting 1,500 tests a day and is manned by the Bureau of Fire Protection. The Philippine Red Cross laboratory in Mandaluyong is tasked to test the samples collected.
The swabbing facility prioritizes returning Overseas Filipino Workers, frontliners, and other suspected and probable cases.
The Philippine Arena (Northern sector) is one of the mega swabbing facilities set up by the government. Palacio de Maynila on Roxas Boulevard (Western sector), Enderun Tent in Taguig City (Eastern sector), and the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City (Southern sector) had earlier started operations.
Together, the four mega swabbing centers give the government the capacity of conducting around 5,000 tests a day.
The Iglesia Ni Cristo which owns the Philippine Arena has also agreed to let the government use the whole Ciudad de Victoria estate, not just the Philippine Arena itself, to isolate and quarantine COVID-19 cases with an estimated 1,065 rooms for patients, while frontliners will be able to share 476 suites good for 2 to 4 health workers each.
The government is targeting 30,000 tests a day by May 31, 2020. Lab encoders have been assigned to facilitate the fast release of results of the test for coronavirus disease. The Department of Science and Technology created the specimen collection booths to be used in the centers.
The Rizal Memorial Coliseum, Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), and World Trade Center (WTC) have been also been converted into Emergency Quarantine Facilities (EQF) for COVID-19 patients with the help of the members of the Philippine Constructors Association (PCA).
Eva Macapagal Super Terminal located at Port area in Manila has been turned into a comfortable and easily accessible quarantine facility for overseas Filipinos arriving in the country amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
The University of the Philippines Diliman (UP Diliman) has also agreed to house a COVID-19 testing Center for Quezon City, has set up a quarantine, and is offering free counseling to frontliners, patients and their families, and anyone severely affected by the health crisis.
SEND CHEERS to the people behind the conversion of the Philippine Arena into a swabbing center and its estate into a quarantine facility to help in the country’s capacity for mass testing for coronavirus disease.
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