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AFP lets officials decide on plan to turn Fort Magsaysay into quarantine site

February 9, 2015
02

The local government of Nueva Ecija is considering the camp as a quarantine site for patients of Ebola virus and other communicable diseases like the severe acute respiratory syndrome or SARS.

MANILA, Philippines – The military is leaving it to higher authorities to decide on the proposal to make Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija a quarantine site for people infected with communicable diseases.

Armed Forces public affairs chief Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc said while they are open to the proposal, it has to be studied by policy makers.

“In the spirit of bayanihan, that is possible. However, we need the approval of higher authorities on the use of the military reservation,” Cabunoc said in a text message on Monday.

“The AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) has shown its willingness to support other agencies in handling national concerns like what we did for personnel who came from Liberia,” he added.

Fort Magsaysay, the largest military camp in the country, hosts the Army’s Special Operations Command and the 7th Infantry Division. The 44,000-hectare camp also houses the Combat Arms School of the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command and the Division Training Unit.

The local government of Nueva Ecija is considering the camp as a quarantine site for patients of Ebola virus and other communicable diseases like the severe acute respiratory syndrome or SARS.

Nueva Ecija Gov. Aurelio Umali believes setting up isolation facilities inside the camp is more advantageous than doing so in hospitals.

“In the hospital, the patients are susceptible and you increase the chance of an outbreak,” Umali said in a recent meeting with local disaster and police officials.

At least three hospitals in Central Luzon have been tapped as possible isolation facilities namely the Paulino J. Garcia Memorial Research and Medical Center in Cabanatuan City, the Bataan General Hospital and the Jose B. Lingad Memorial Hospital in Pampanga.

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