Amang Rodriguez hospital chief cautions against easing quarantine measures

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 04 2020 03:53 PM

Medical staff attend to patients at a screening booth at the Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center in Marikina City on March 23, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The chief of government-run Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center in Marikina City on Monday cautioned against downgrading the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon to general community quarantine as more COVID-19 cases continue to be reported.

Dr. Imelda Mateo said that the hospital has around 50 patients at any given time with daily admissions of 5 to 10 individuals.

The hospital has no COVID-19 positive patient as of Monday but they have patients who have co-morbidities or other illnesses, such as respiratory problems, that make them vulnerable to the new coronavirus.

“Unti-unti tumataas pa rin on a daily basis, kasi we see and manage co-morbids and treat them as such, parang for the past 3 days gano'n pa rin,” Mateo said.

(It still rises little by little on a daily basis because we see and manage co-morbids and treat them as such. That has been the case for the past 3 days.)

Talks of easing quarantine measures have surfaced as government agencies prepare for the possible resumption of such services as train transportation.

Mateo said downgrading quarantine measures should be done only if the public has become disciplined, to ensure that there is no further spread of the coronavirus.

“Sana... 'pag talagang disciplined na ang public to abide by the recommendations on infection prevention, social distancing, personal distancing, handwashing, staying at home when it is not necessary to go out,” Mateo said.

(Hopefully... if the public is disciplined to abide by the recommendations on infection prevention, social distancing, personal distancing, handwashing, staying at home when it is not necessary to go out.)

To ease the backlog of patients at Amang Rodriguez, a 120-bed quarantine facility was built through the cooperation of the local government of Marikina City, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, United Architects of the Philippines and private construction firm WTA Architecture and Design.

Marikina City Mayor Marcy Teodoro said more quarantine facilities have to be built in preparation for more individuals, even asymptomatic ones, who may test positive for COVID-19 as the city’s Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory started operations last Friday.

“Ang alarming ay ang tinest natin sa frontliners tulad ng isang araw, grupo of 8 tinest natin na frontliners, mga medical workers na naka-base sa isang ospital, tinest natin ang walo, dalawa sa kanila ay positive, asymptomatic,” Teodoro said.

(It is alarming that when we test frontliners, for example, the other day, we tested a group of 8 medical workers based in one hospital, 2 of them were positive, asymptomatic.)

RELIEF OPERATIONS CONTINUE 

As officials prepare medical facilities, some residents of Marikina and the non-government orgranization Bayanihang Marikenyo at Marikenya continue their relief operations for a poor community in Bgy. Tumana.

Bayanihang Marikenyo at Marikenyo Co-Convenor Zena Bernando, said that their relief work will not be hampered by threats from the police after their volunteers from Bgy. Industrial Valley Complex were arrested Friday.

“Ang impact noon, natakot sila. Pero tuloy-tuloy. Walang masama, alam namin. Kami ay gumigising araw-araw na tama at mabuti ang ginagawa namin. At itutuloy namin ito. At lagi kami, from the very start, we are properly coordinated with the LGU city and the barangays,” Bernardo said.

(They got afraid. But we'll continue on. We know there was nothing wrong there. We wake up everyday doing the right and good thing and we will continue this. From the very start, we are properly coordinated with the LGU city and the barangays.)

The group gave P500-worth of ingredients for “ginataang kalabasa at sitaw” good for 30 families which were cooked by community volunteers and distributed house-to-house, observing physical distancing measures.

One of those who participated in the relief work was Josephine Tejada who has not been able to earn as a scavenger because of the lockdown.

“Wala akong anak ano, pero naranasan namin ng asawa ko na isang beses lang kami kakain sa isang araw, kasi wala kaming hanap-buhay. Ngayon, malaking tulong din sa amin kasi nakakain na kami ng gulay, libre pa,” Tejada said.

(I don't have children, but my husband and I experience eating only once a day because we both are not working. This will be a big help for us because we will be able to eat vegetables for free.)