The government will use the massive Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan, as a “mega-quarantine facility” of Iglesia ni Cristo for patients infected with COVID-19.
Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) President and CEO Vince Dizon thanked the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) for offering Philippine Arena, the world’s largest indoor arena to be converted as a quarantine center for Bulacan and nearby provinces.
“Nagpapasalamat tayo sa INC, sa Kapatiran, dahil pumayag na po sila. Inoffer po nilang gamiting ang Philippine Arena para magserve sa Bulacan at Region 3,” Dizon said.
(We thank the INC, the Congregation, for their willingness. They have agreed to use the Philippine Arena to serve Bulacan and Region 3.)
The arena is a multipurpose indoor arena with a maximum seating capacity of 55,000. The arena holds not only major church gatherings of the Iglesia ni Cristo but also operates as a multi-use sports and concert venue. It is capable of holding a range of events from boxing and basketball to live music performances, but no association football or field events due to its limited size.
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Dizon also added that the government is also considering to turn a total of 12 facilities in Metro Manila as temporary isolation facilities for COVID-19 patients.
Among the 12 facilities being converted were
- Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) Forum Halls
- World Trade Center, Rizal Memorial Coliseum
- FTI facility in Taguig City
- Quezon Institute
- PhilSports Arena in Pasig
- Filinvest Tent in Alabang
- Duty-Free Philippines in Parañaque
- Amoranto Sports Complex in Quezon City
- Open areas in Quezon Memorial Circle
- Veterans Memorial Medical Center
The government already started the conversion of the PICC Forum Halls, the World Trade Center, and the Rizal Memorial Coliseum into isolation sites. The three facilities are set to be completed by April 12 and will be able to accommodate a total of 1,950 patients.
Converting government-owned facilities would help hospitals and health care centers in their struggle with accommodating coronavirus patients. COVID-19 PUIs, asymptomatic patients, and those who have already recovered from the respiratory illness will be housed in these facilities.
As of April 3, 2020, the Philippines has 2,633 confirmed cases, 107 deaths, and 51 recoveries.