Chinese medical team said PH is at risk for of inability to stop COVID-19 spread

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Chinese medical team recommends building Fangcang hospitals
Chinese medical team advised the Philippines to build Fangcang hospitals just like what they did in Wuhan, China. (Image from Sixth Tone)

The team of Chinese medical experts found the Philippines is at risk of being unable to cut off the source of the pandemic COVID-19, a week after they arrived in the country.

The 12-member team came into this conclusion after visiting sic hospitals in the country and holding video conferences with local medical experts, a report from CCTV Asia Pacific said.

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The head of the Chinese medical team, Weng Shangeng, told CCTV Asia Pacific that they urged the Philippines to establish a “Fangcang” hospital as soon as possible.

“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.

According to The Lancet, “the Fangcang shelter hospitals in China were large-scale, temporary hospitals, rapidly built by converting existing public venues, such as stadiums and exhibition centers, into health-care facilities. They served to isolate patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 from their families and communities while providing medical care, disease monitoring, food, shelter, and social activities.”

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Weng Shangeng noted that creating a makeshift hospital for COVID-19 patients is a crucial 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.

The Chinese team also recommended the country should improve its virus testing and detection capacity after they visited the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

RITM is the Philippines’ first and largest COVID-19 testing facility. It currently has two laboratories that can process 700 tests every day.

“That is to say, if they work at full capacity, the capacity can now reach 1,400 each day. Also, 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.

Earlier this month, the government already converted large venues into quarantine facilities including 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.

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