An emergency Field Implementation and Coordination Team video conference meeting with heads of government hospitals in Metro Manila was held yesterday to address the growing concerns of the hospitals dealing with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Secretary Francisco T. Duque III  of the Department of Health (DOH) recognized the many demands brought about by COVID-19 on hospitals and health centers but stressed the need to be “organized.”

“We need to consolidate and avoid duplication of our efforts,” he said.

He also reminded the Medical Center Chiefs to always keep regular open lines of communication to inform their respective teams on how operational issues were solved and to initiate solicitation of grievances from their staff to arrive at an early resolution.

Before the video conference meeting, Duque undertook an ocular inspection of the East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC) to meet with hospital management and obtain first-hand information on the supposed rising number of corpses in its morgue.

Duque learned that EAMC has already made arrangements with local government units, the Metro Manila Development Authority, and other concerned agencies to facilitate the transport and cremation or burial of the cadavers to eliminate any risk it might pose.

Since the hospital is under Quezon City, the QC Council has been designated to address any unclaimed bodies and even shoulder the cost of cremation if the deceased relative has limited financial resources.

To address its morgue’s limited space, EAMC expected yesterday the delivery of a mobile freezer to contain the cadavers while awaiting relatives to claim them.  (Jojo Mangahis)