THE GOVERNMENT has so far spent P5.2 billion for the construction of modular hospitals and isolation facilities in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Public Works Secretary Mark A. Villar said.

Mr. Villar said they have established about 25,000 beds for COVID-19 patients and healthcare workers.

“At the latest, by next month we will have an additional 300 beds…mostly in the National Capital Region,” he told ABS-CBN News Channel.

The government is aiming to set up a total of 27,300 beds by the end of the year.

“In terms of quarantine facilities, there is a significant improvement from last month, but nevertheless we still continue to aggressively build so that we have sufficient buffer in case there is another surge,” he said.

The Palace earlier said the use rates of facilities for COVID-19 patients in the Philippines were now below critical levels.

Occupancy was at 57% for intensive care unit beds and about 44% for isolation beds as of May 18, according to the Health department. About 48% of ward beds were in use. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza