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Publicly identify COVID-19 patients to curb viral spread, solon asks govt

/ 09:52 AM April 01, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The government must publicly identify individuals who tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to control the spread of the viral respiratory illness, a lawmaker pointed out on Wednesday.

Davao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Alan Dujali said that publicly disclosing the identity of COVID-19 patients will further boost the currently imposed enhanced community quarantine in the Luzon region.

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“While I believe that the quarantine measures have, so far, been effective in addressing our current public health concern, it is my humble recommendation that we further strengthen it by implementing strategies aimed at informing the public, on a regular basis of the identities of the persons who have already been tested positive for the virus, as well as of those who have a probable chance of having contracted it,” Dujali said in a Facebook post.

The lawmaker added that those considered to be patients under investigation (PUIs) and persons under monitoring (PUMs) shall likewise be identified by the Department of Health (DOH) and its authorised counterparts.

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“As we have seen in the media, there are many different personalities who have been tested positive with the virus, and yet have voluntarily publicly disclosed such fact,” Dujali said.

“If we go further by allowing our government to publicly disclose the identities of persons infected with the virus, the PUIs and PUMs, I believe we can make a more positive impact towards effectively slowing down the spread of the virus,” the lawmaker added.

Dujali said that his recommendation to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease seeks to “create an effective deterrent to such persons from violating the quarantine measure and hospital protocols; and to strengthen the mandatory reporting provided under Republic Act 11332, or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act.”

This recommendation, Dujali said, is legal since R.A. 11332 “provides a clear exception” to Republic Act 10173 or the Data Privacy Law.

“Dissemination of such information to the public by the DOH and its local counterparts is not prohibited, yet actually mandated, so long as they are gathered from the official disease surveillance and response systems that are already built in place,” Dujali said.

“Therefore, given that our country already has a legal framework that provides a legal basis for the public disclosure of identities of persons infected with the corona virus, as well as the PUIs and PUMs, the only thing that remains for us to do is to implement it,” he added.

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Dujali urge government to publicly identify COVID-19 patientsThe government should identify people stricken with the…

Posted by Cong. Alan "Aldu" R. Dujali on Tuesday, March 31, 2020

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Department of Health (DOH) said there are 2,084 COVID-19 cases in the country, with the death toll soaring to 88.

A total of 49 patients, meanwhile, were able to recover from the disease.

GSG

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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TAGS: Coronavirus, COVID-19, Government, identify patients, Rep. Dujali
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