More sports facilities that are under the Philippine Sports Commission’s care will be converted into temporary medical facilities.
The historic Rizal Memorial Coliseum has been added to the list of recommended areas which can serve the needs of frontliners and patients alike.
PSC chairman William Ramirez said this following talks with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.
This will make the Coliseum as the third sports venues that will be made available in the ongoing efforts of the government to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
“Not only the Multi-Purpose Arena and the Philsports track oval, the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex is being considered as well. We offered the facilities to help decongest hospitals. We have the space—newly renovated, fully airconditioned with a steady water supply. We have already discussed this with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea,” said Ramirez.
The Department of Public Works and Highways have already sent their staff to survey the Pasig venue, which is the Philsports Complex in Pasig
And they will be visiting the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex next week.
Other possible venues to be used at the RMSC are the Ninoy Aquino Stadium and the Rizal Baseball Stadium.
All these venues have been used before as evacuation or warehouse and repacking center for relief goods.
“I understand that some sectors might become concerned over this. We are not putting our athletes at risk as all but a few of them have left for their respective homes,” said Ramirez.
The decision to make more facilities available came after the number of infected cases breached the 1,000-mark last Saturday.
“Rest assured though that we will take every step to ensure that safety of all concerned will be ensured and that the facilities are disinfected thoroughly after that virus finally says goodbye,” said Ramirez.
There are around 30 athletes and coaches who are staying at the dorms at the Philsports Complex.
There are medical and administration staff, along with security personnel who are guarding the complexes.
The rest of the national athletes have been asked to go home before the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine.
“These challenging times call all of us to be patriots. In ordinary times but more so in extraordinary ones as we have now, we are called upon to do heroic things. Whether to be called at the frontlines or to stay home, we can all do our share to be part of this problem’s solution,” added Ramirez.
On the other hand, Senior Executive Assistant and National Training Director Marc Velasco assured that the management committee of the PSC is already crafting plans to ensure that remaining athletes and personnel are secured and isolated from the areas to be taken over.
“Thorough disinfection of the venues will be undertaken regularly and after their use,” assured Velasco.