LOOK: Military receives quarantine facility, medical equipment

MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is among government agencies on the front lines of battling the coronavirus pandemic, and it has been receiving donations of medical equipment, supplies, and even an entire quarantine facility.

On Wednesday, April 1, the company WTA Architecture and Design led by William Ti Jr finished constructing a wood-and-plastic emergency quarantine facility at the Philippine Navy’s Naval Station Jose Francisco in Taguig City.

The structure is built to house up to 17 persons under monitoring (PUM) and persons under investigation (PUI) for COVID-19 – those who are likely to be turned away by hospitals already filled to capacity with confirmed patients.

EMERGENCY QUARANTINE. This nifty quarantine facility can take in persons under monitoring and persons under investigation for the novel coronavirus, who might not find room in hospitals swamped with confirmed patients. Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

EMERGENCY QUARANTINE. This nifty quarantine facility can take in persons under monitoring and persons under investigation for the novel coronavirus, who might not find room in hospitals swamped with confirmed patients.

Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

A PUI is someone who has two or all of the following: 

Meanwhile, a PUM is someone who has a history of travel to a virus-hit country or exposure to a coronavirus patient.

17 BEDS. The facility was designed and donated by the company WTA Architecture and Design. Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

17 BEDS. The facility was designed and donated by the company WTA Architecture and Design.

Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

For the young architect Ti, designing and constructing the facility was a “unique experience” because he and his team built it together with the military.

“This is easy to build. Anyone can build it in the islands or province, everywhere. We thank the AFP for making partners with us and to make this happen,” he said.

The nifty cottage now stands in the training center of the Naval Combat Engineering Brigade.

CLINIC. The structure has a secluded portion for health workers. Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

CLINIC. The structure has a secluded portion for health workers.

Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

“These temporary facilities will further enhance our capability to care for patients and certainly ease some of the burden of many hospitals dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said AFP chief of staff General Felimon Santos Jr, thanking the builders.

Santos has tested positive for the virus but is asymptomatic, according to the AFP. He is in quarantine in his residence at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

Equipment for AFP Medical Center

The AFP Medical Center in Quezon City and the AFP Medical Corps also received donations of equipment and supplies – a portion of a total P200 million package given to the government.

A local Filipino-Chinese community, a private company, and a private individual who preferred to stay anonymous donated two units of 2-piece Automated Nucleic Acid Extraction System machines, 4 PCR machines, 30,000 RT-PCR diagnostic kits, 25,010 medical protective suits, 292,300 face masks, 60,000 medical gloves, 5,064 medical goggles, 5,000 face shields, and 1,000 pairs of medical protective shoe covers.

All of these were procured from China-based Sansure Biotech, the AFP said in a press statement, citing the donors.

The donations were delivered to the Philippines on March 21 aboard the Philippine Air Force’s C-130 planes.

DELIVERED. The Armed Forces of the Philippines receives a donation of medical supplies and equipment on March 21, 2020. Photo from the Armed Forces of the Philippines

DELIVERED. The Armed Forces of the Philippines receives a donation of medical supplies and equipment on March 21, 2020.

Photo from the Armed Forces of the Philippines

A 2-piece Automated Nucleic Acid Extraction System machine and a PCR machine have been delivered to the AFP Medical Center, also known as the V. Luna General Hospital, for installation pending the completion of a structure by the AFP Corps of Engineers, the AFP said.

Automated Nucleic Acid Extraction System machines are used to extract DNA from samples. PCR or polymerase chain reaction machines detect and amplify DNA. These machines can be used in the process of testing for the novel coronavirus.

EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES. Soldiers unload donated cargo from the Philippine Air Force's C-130 plane at Villamor Airbase on March 21, 2020. Photo from the Armed Forces of the Philippines

EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES. Soldiers unload donated cargo from the Philippine Air Force's C-130 plane at Villamor Airbase on March 21, 2020.

Photo from the Armed Forces of the Philippines

The AFP Medical Center caters to members of the military and their immediate families. It recently treated a senior military officer and his wife, who had contracted COVID-19.

The military are among the front liners battling the pandemic, and the AFP Medical Corps will be deployed to national quarantine centers to tend to PUMs, PUIs, and confirmed patients with mild symptoms.

Other recipients of the donations were the Philippine National Police, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, the Bureau of Immigration, public and private hospitals, and local government units, the AFP said.

Santos thanked the donors, saying: “They prefer no fanfare or recognition. They just wish to let our people know – our soldiers to know – that they are not alone at this time of great need for critically essential equipment and medical supplies.” – Rappler.com

JC Gotinga

JC Gotinga often reports about the West Philippine Sea, the communist insurgency, and terrorism as he covers national defense and security for Rappler. He enjoys telling stories about his hometown, Pasig City. JC has worked with Al Jazeera, CNN Philippines, News5, and CBN Asia.

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