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Build more temporary hospitals instead of reverting to MECQ, Gatchalian suggests

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The government should set up makeshift hospitals where more COVID-19 patients can be accommodated instead of imposing stricter lockdown measures in Metro Manila and other high-risk areas, according to Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Thursday.

"'Yung [modified enhanced community quarantine] or [enhanced community quarantine] is a very painful methodology for our peole, marami talaga mawawalan ng trabaho at maraming magugutom," Gatchalian said in a virtual interview.

"I would rather address the health system by putting up more temporary hospitals. Nag-MECQ and ECQ naman tayo para 'yung health system natin 'di ma-overwhelm or mag-reach ng full capacity," he added.

While acknowledging that mega isolation facilities are already in place, the senator believes that putting up temporary hospitals, similar to what was done in China and Spain, would prevent more mild cases from worsening.

The Palace warned that Metro Manila may return to a modified ECQ if the COVID-19 cases in the country reach 85,000 on July 31.

As of July 23, the number of confirmed virus cases in the Philippines has reached 74,390.

As more hospitals report that they have reached capacity for accepting COVID-19 cases, and as the waitlist in Metro Manila's medical centers keep growing, the government has ordered public hospitals to increase their allocation of beds to COVID-19 patients to 50 or 70 percent, from the initial 30 percent.

National Task Force against COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. recommends dedicating four hospitals in Metro Manila exclusively to coronavirus cases. — BM, GMA News

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