Pier 15 Covid-19 Treatment Facility ready to accommodate patients

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade and Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana have led the simple commissioning ceremony of the Pier 15 Covid-19 Treatment Facility.

Starting today, 21 April 2020, the Eva Macapagal Super Terminal in Pier 15, which was converted into a COVID-19 Treatment Facility equipped with medical requirements for treatment of COVID-19 patients, will be READY to accommodate persons who are showing mild symptoms.

“Noong tinignan namin ang kapaligiran (ng Eva Macapagal Terminal), we thought that this is strategically located. In 1km to 2km, nandiyan ang mga ospital, para kung may pangangailangan na seryoso, na sana ‘wag naman po, ay maaaring itakbo agad,” Transportation Secretary Tugade said.

Defense Secretary Lorenzana, meanwhile, during the inspection, commended the DOTr and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) for the swift completion of the facility, and expressed his appreciation on the comfort and ambiance it will bring to the patients.

“Marami na akong napuntahan na quarantine facilities pero so far, ito ‘yung the best na nakita ko. Comfortable ito sa mga pasyente. We are very much satisfied upon seeing this,” Sec. Lorenzana said.

The PPA, led by General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago, has fast-tracked the completion of the treatment facility in an effort to boost the medical treatment capacity of the National Capital Region (NCR) as well as its nearby cities and provinces.

“Ito pong facility namin dito, may total na 211 beds capacity. This is in addtion to the capacity already taken up sa dalawang (2) barko, dalawang (2) quarantine vessels,” GM Santiago said.

Retrofitting of the terminal started on 13 April, and according to the initial plan, completion may last up to 10 days. However, with work done round-the-clock, the operation of the treatment facility will now start at an earlier date.

The Pier 15 Covid-19 Treatment Facility has a total of 211 cubicles distributed in different zones to accommodate patients with mild, advanced and severe infections. It is provided with hospital beds, portable toilets, cargo containers for showers, and open-air dining facilities. Nurses’ stations will also be set up outside, with plastic barrier views of the inside to minimize the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

The facility is fitted with airtight doors to prevent aerosols containing the COVID-19 coronavirus from spreading.

The interior layout of the quarantine terminal is generally open to allow a conducive space for the healing of patients. The facility is also provided with air-conditioning units and equipped with sufficient doors and windows, which can be opened to let fresh air in regularly as prescribed by health experts in the treatment of patients. It is situated beside the waterfront, where patients will be allowed to enjoy sunlight and fresh ocean breeze.

“Twice a day, for about 30 minutes, bubuksan ang pintuan sa quarantine facility para makalanghap ng sariwang hangin ang mga pasyente mula sa dagat,” Secretary Tugade said.

The facility is meant to accommodate returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and seafarers, so they can serve their mandatory 14-day quarantine before returning to their homes.

“Pagkatapos po natin dito, as the Secretary [Tugade] said, we will disinfect it, we will lock it and we will turn over the facility to Philippine Coast Guard Medical Group and they will be the ones to run it. Ang pagpapatakbo po rito ng Philippine Coast Guard Medical Group ay naaayon sa protocols at sa mga alituntunin na sineset ng Bureau of Quarantine at Department of Health,” GM Santiago furthered.

Personnel from the Department of Health (DOH) as well as the health and safety personnel of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), will provide the necessary medical treatment on patients being brought to the facility, while the PPA will provide the additional personnel support if needed.

PCG Admiral Joel Garcia, for his part shared that, “Mayroon po tayong itinatag na one-stop shop sa Airport. As far as the arrival of OFWs, ayon sa data ng OWWA, humigit-kumulang na 2,500 po ‘yan, land-based and sea-based. Together with the OWWA, Marina, PCG, BOQ, OTS, maglalagay po tayo ng one-stop shop to address the issues ng arrival ng OFWs. Ito po ang magpa-process sa arrival nila at magdi-distribute sa location kung saan dadalhin na mga quarantine facilities.“

“Walang gastusin ang gobyerno dito. Ang Lopez group, lumapit sa amin at nagbigay ng P100 Million panlaban sa COVID. Pero ang sabi ko, magtayo tayo ng facility, i-deliver natin. ‘Yung sobra, ibibili natin ng mobile rapid testing centers. Maglalagay din tayo ng mga dashboard sa mga airport para makita kung anu-ano pa ang mga available na quarantine facility ng gobyerno na pwedeng matuluyan ng mga paparating na OFW,” Secretary Tugade added.

The treatment facility was made possible in cooperation with the Lopez Group of Companies which donated PhP100 million funding support, 2GO and Asian Terminals Inc. (ATI). DOTR