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DOH designates two hospitals to handle COVID-19 patients 

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The Department of Health (DOH) designated two medical facilities in Metro Manila to exclusively handle COVID-19 patients..

In a statement, Health Undersecretary Ma. Rosario Vergeire said the Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City and the Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital in Caloocan City will soon be equipped as COVID-exclusive centers, with the hospitals already "transitioning their services" for the planned move.

Apart from the two, Vergeire added the department is also finalizing the plan to turn the Philippine General Hospital in Manila into another exclusive hospital for the infectious coronavirus disease.

"UP (University of the Philippines) PGH has been requested by government through DOH to be one of the COVID 19 hospitals and they are very much willing to help," the Health official said. "They are now currently limiting services to non COVID 19 cases to slowly transition to this plan. We have a meeting this afternoon to finalize the arrangements."

A group of private hospitals earlier urged the government to assign other medicial facilities for exclusive COVID-19 treatment, saying that their members' manpower and medical equipment are being depleted.

The hospitals said they are running short of personal protective equipment, while intensive care units are getting full. They have also turned regular rooms into isolation areas.

In a span of days, the Philippines has seen a rapid spike in COVID-19 cases, with a total of 217 as of Thursday afternoon. Majority of the cases were recorded in Luzon, which has been placed under "enhanced" community quarantine to help curb the spread of the disease.

Globally, COVID-19 has infected more than 240,000 individuals in 160 different countries including China, where the mysterious virus first spread. Over 9,800 deaths have also been recorded worldwide, 17 of them in the country.

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