As of 12 noon today, 19 March 2020, the Department of Health has recorded 217 confirmed cases in the Philippines. While 655 cases have been tested negative, there still are 298 cases with pending test results. All efforts to flatten the curve have been looked into, some of which have been adopted by the public, like community quarantines, streets sanitation, and the good old washing of hands.
In the architecture and design industry, two designers suggested the use of old and underutilized structures that could be converted into COVID-19 hospitals to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country. From a technical standpoint, reusing old structures that can work with the program is much more efficient, practical, and cost-effective compared to building and spending more money on new structures.
In a Facebook post by architect Dan Lichauco earlier today, he says: “As a hospital architect I feel the QUEZON INSTITUTE can be quickly converted into a 100% COVID-19 hospital.” He followed it up with: “It won’t have all the bells and whistles, but it will do the job taking care of the mild and moderate cases. If patients get severe, they can be brought to existing hospitals.” While a commenter said the idea has been floating around in social media, others commended the advice from an expert like Lichauco.
Landscape architect Paulo Alcazaren agreed with Lichauco’s suggestion. In a separate Facebook post on his page, he says: “I agree with Hospital specialist Arch. Dan Lichauco, that the QI would be ideal as a facility for ICU/Containment of COVID19 patients. The large open spaces isolate it from the metropolis, but it is accessible. The green spaces can also be used for tent field hospitals for triage and processing of patients, while the rooms and wards inside could quickly be made ready…far faster than building from scratch. These are aerials I took two years ago and shows how well designed the original was (by Juan Nakpil) to contain the prevalent disease of those times – tuberculosis.”
Alcazaren also posted a list of options for COVID-19 containment or intensive care facilities in another post. Here are his recommendations:
- POGO Island, Cavite
The landscape architect says that the island “would be an easy conversion as it is new.”
- Silahis Hotel
According to Alcazaren, the Silahis Hotel would “need at least a few months to a year to gut and convert.”
- Philippine Village Hotel
“The Philippine Village Hotel is ideally isolated,” says Alcazaren in his post.
Netizens chimed in as well, citing their recommendations of a COVID-19 hospital, such as:
- the Mega Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center in Palayan, Nueva Ecija
- an abandoned hospital at Clark Airbase
- a hotel in Corregidor Island
- the Harrison Plaza
Lichauco also commented on Alcazaren’s post, saying, “Any multi-story building will be hard to convert. 2 – 3 floors better.”
What are your COVID-19 hospital recommendations?
Photos courtesy of Paulo Alcazaren