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125 evacuation centers can be used as COVID-19 facilities – DPWH

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More than 100 evacuation centers were ready to be converted into exclusive coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) facilities, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar said Saturday.

In a statement, Villar announced that a total of 125 evacuation centers could be converted "to augment the number of health facilities nationwide."

"110 evacuation centers have been completed with access to both power and water. We are now facilitating power and water connection to an additional 15 evacuation centers," he added.

According to the statement, an evacuation center in Butuan had been converted to an exclusive facility for COVID-19 patients.

Villar said that the DPWH had also conducted a joint inspection with the Department of Health on other possible location sites, such as San Gabriel in Tuguegarao, San Pablo in Isabela, Mexico and Lubao in Pampanga, Botolan in Zambales, Talavera in Nueva Ecija, and Tabuk in Kalinga.

“In Dalaguete in Cebu, the evacuation center is already being used as a health facility for Persons Under Investigation or Persons Under Monitoring," Villar said.

He added that four evacuation centers are being used as food hubs by the Department of Social Welfare and Development while nine were being used as emergency operations centers by the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.

On Saturday, confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country rose to 262 with 19 fatalities. — Joahna Lei Casilao/DVM, GMA News

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