Chinese medical experts find Philippines at risk of inability to cut COVID-19 source



MANILA, Philippines, April 16 ------ A week after arriving in the Philippines, the 12-member Chinese medical expert team found that the country is facing a risk of being unable to cut off the source of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). According to a report from CCTV Asia Pacific, the Chinese medical experts came into this conclusion after visiting six hospitals in the Philippines and held video conferences with local medical experts. Weng Shangeng, head of the Chinese medical team, told CCTV Asia Pacific that they suggested the Philippines should establish a "Fangcang" hospital as soon as possible. China's Wuhan City, where the infectious virus originated, developed "Fangcang" shelter hospitals in response to the coronavirus pandemic. These makeshift hospitals are intended for large-scale medical isolation. "Because of limited beds and testing capacity in the Philippines, many of the COVID-19 patients are still quarantined at home," Weng told CCTV Asia Pacific. The head of the Chinese medical team noted that establishing a makeshift hospital for COVID-19 patients is a fundamental measure to increase recovery rates and reduce infection rates. "In this way, mild cases can be admitted to the hospital for observation so as to prevent the mild cases from becoming severe cases," Weng said. Following their visit to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), the Chinese team also noted the Philippines' need to improve its virus detection capacity. RITM, the country's largest COVID-19 detection facility, currently has two laboratories that can run 700 tests every day. "That is to say, if they work at full capacity, the capacity can now reach 1,400 each day. In addition, they are building a third laboratory, which is expected to reach 2,100 a day in the short term testing ability," the Chinese team's head said. Several large venues in Metro Manila and nearby areas are set to be converted into quarantine facilities. Earlier this month, National Task Force COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. inspected the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila, as well as the World Trade Center and the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City. These three venues are expected to house around 2,000 patients. Other venues to be converted into quarantine facilities are Quezon City Institue, Duty-Free Philippines in Parañaque, Amoranto Stadium in Quezon City, Quezon Memorial Circle, Veterans Memorial Medical Center complex, PhilSports Complex in Pasig City, Food Terminal Inc. in Taguig City, Filinvest Tent in Muntinlupa and Philippine Arena in Bulacan. Source: philstar.com