DPWH converts shipping containers to mobile health facilities amid COVID-19 crisis

Robie de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said it is now converting shipping containers into mobile facilities as part of its efforts to assist the Department of Health (DOH) amid the fight to contain the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said they have already completed the conversion of one shipping container into a prototype health facility in preparation for when the (COVID-19) situation worsens amid rising number of infections.

Villar said the DPWH has prepared the designs for four high cube containers, measuring 40 feet long by 8 feet width and 9 feet height joined together to create mobile field hospitals for the possible isolation and treatment of 16 probable COVID-19 patients.

Based on DPWH plans for one-story health facility, a 40-footer shipping container is divided into four rooms. Each room will have toilet and bath, and will have proper ventilation for the full isolation of a patients, according to DOH guidelines and recommendations.

Villar said design plans have also been prepared for 20 feet long high cube shipping containers that can be converted into nurse stations, utility room and separate temporary quarters of male and female healthcare service personnel.

“We’re ready to convert these containers into mobile hospitals and install them in any available hospital grounds or open public spaces,” Villar said.

The DPWH said the project is in line with efforts to assist the DOH in the establishment, construction, and operation of temporary medical facilities as mandated in the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

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