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PH Navy to turn President’s yacht into quarantine facility

By: Frances Mangosing - Inquirer.net April 05,2020 - 01:47 PM

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Navy said it has prepared a “feasible plan” to convert the presidential yacht into a floating quarantine facility as ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte.

The BRP Ang Pangulo (ACS-25) can accommodate up to 28 suspected coronavirus patients (patients under monitoring and investigation) with five medical personnel, the Navy said in a statement Saturday.

A three-meter distance will be strictly observed between patients, and different entry points will be made for the patients and medical staff, the Navy said.

There are three exclusive compartments that will be prepared for the patients with a temporary division in place, it added.

The ship’s crew will remain onboard, but they will remain sealed off from the space taken up by patients.

The BRP Ang Pangulo is currently deployed in the Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao area. Its commanding officer, Cmdr. Marissa Arlene Andres-Martinez, is already coordinating with authorities to support the medical equipment and other essential requirements needed of the hospital ship, the Navy said.

Duterte on Friday ordered the Navy to transform the yacht into a hospital ship amid the raging coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

In 2016, the President planned to sell the yacht and use the proceeds for the benefit of war veterans, improve hospital facilities, among others.

But because there are procedures in disposing government assets, Duterte had said he would turn it into a floating hospital for conflict-hit areas instead.

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