We Are Finally Getting Two Hospital Ships For COVID-19
2Go Group Inc. will convert two of its vessels into quarantine ships, which can accommodate 1,500 patients and will be operational come the third week of April.
“2GO Shipping has agreed to convert two of its ships into ‘quarantine ships’ that can serve 1,500 patients and will be operational by next week,” the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said in a statement.
The initiative comes as hospitals around the country reach maximum capacity and pleaded for help in accommodating PUIs and PUMs.
“Most hospitals in Metro Manila have already pleaded for help in attending to COVID-19 patients. Some of them can no longer accept more patients due to overcapacity,” said DOTr secretary Arthur Tugade.
“That is what we are trying to address here. We will deploy these ‘quarantine ships’ to help our hospitals, our health workers, and our countrymen.”
The Bayanihan to Heal as One Act states that the government can direct the operation of passenger vessels to serve as quarantine facilities. Prompted by the initiative, more shipping companies have expressed their willingness to offer and convert their vessels as hospital ships or quarantine facilities while hospitals are full.
2Go is the largest passenger shipping company in the Philippines. It was previously named Negros Navigation, until 2012 when it acquired SuperFerry, Cebu Ferries, and SuperCat. Its fleet consists of 27 vessels, each named after saints of the Catholic Church.