Gov’t: Transfer of COVID patients from house to quarantine area needed
MANILA, Philippines — The government will be going house-to-house for COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms so they can be transferred to monitoring facilities to avoid the further spread of the virus, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Tuesday.
According to Año, individuals who contract the respiratory disease will no longer be allowed to quarantine themselves at home if their households do not have the necessary isolation facilities.
The government allows patients deemed asymptomatic or with mild symptoms to quarantine at home, provided that they have their own room, own bath and do not have any individual in their house that is considered vulnerable.
“Ang gagawin natin, sa tulong ng ating LGUs at Philippine National Police ay iba-bahay-bahay po natin ‘yan at dadalhin natin ang ating mga positive sa ating COVID-19 facilities,” Año said in an online press briefing.
(What we will do is that with the help of our LGUs and Philippine National Police, we conduct a house-to-house visit and we will bring those who are positive to our COVID-19 quarantine facilities.)
“May Wi-Fi po yan baka hindi na po umuwi yan,” he added.
(It has WI-Fi so they might not go back home.)
Año, vice-chair of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, also appealed to the public to report COVID-19-positive individuals who are “hiding” at their homes, citing the Republic Act 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act.
“Sa atin pong mga mamamayan, kung alam po ninyo na ang inyong kapitbahay ay merong positive at nagtatago i-report po ninyo sa amin. Ito po ay isang batas, RA 11332,” Año said.
(To our countrymen, if you know of your neighbor who is COVID-19 positive and hiding, please report them to us. This is a law, RA 11332.)
In line with this, COVID-19 response Deputy Chief Implementer Vince Dizon announced that the government will launch “Oplan Kalinga” program, which is meant to transfer COVID-19 patients whose homes are ill-equipped for home quarantine to temporary isolation facilities.
He noted that the program has already started with some 90 patients in Navotas and Malabon being transferred to quarantine sites.
Earlier, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, who is also the co-chair of the IATF, said the government is now “discouraging” home quarantine for COVID-19 patients to minimize the risk of transmission within households.
As of July 10, data from the Department of Health showed that over 74 percent or 52,223 beds are still available in COVID- LIGTAS centers, which are community-managed facilities dedicated to quarantine or isolation of suspected COVID-19 cases.
Meanwhile, 1,958 beds (61 percent) are still available in MEGA LIGTAS COVID-19 facilities such as the Philippine International Convention Center, World Trade Center, Rizal Memorial Coliseum, Ninoy Aquino Stadium, and the Philippine Arena — all managed by the government.
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