‘One classroom, one asymptomatic COVID-19 patient,’ solon proposes
MANILA, Philippines — Marikina 1st District Rep. Bayani Fernando is proposing that classrooms be used as quarantine facilities for asymptomatic and mild COVID-19-positive individuals in a move to prevent the further spread of the virus.
In his proposal, Fernando said that only confirmed asymptomatic and mild patients will be quarantined in classrooms while cases that are deemed critical shall be treated in hospitals.
“I am proposing that asymptomatic individuals be quarantined in classrooms and the ratio would be 1:1 or one classroom, one COVID-19 positive person. In this way, we can prevent further transmission,” Fernando said in a statement.
According to the lawmaker, the standard 63-square-meter classrooms may have better ventilation, lighting, and other amenities compared to many households where many asymptomatic COVID-19 patients choose to isolate themselves in.
“We have around one million classrooms across the country and these are located in the communities. I believe that most of our classrooms are equipped with electric fans especially in cities where COVID is prevalent,” Fernando said.
“Many classrooms have toilets but for those that have none, the occupant can use arinola or bed pan instead,” he added.
Fernando said teachers can be in charge of food preparation for those in quarantine while families can still visit but with necessary transmission barriers in place.
The lawmaker added that a notice to school administrators and teachers have to be issued as well, notifying them that the classrooms would be used as a quarantine facilities and assuring them that these will be thoroughly disinfected after the pandemic.
“The government has to assure the patients that all expenses will be paid by the government and that they and their families will be fed during their stay in the classrooms,” Fernando said.
The government shall likewise, give financial assistance to teachers in the restoration of the classrooms, said Fernando.
“The financial assistance for teachers will serve as compensation for any damage to their personal property in the classrooms like curtains and other things they put up with their own money,” said Fernando.
“Utilizing classrooms as quarantine facilities should be a priority especially so that face-to-face learning is not practical at this time,” the lawmaker added.
Citing a recent study conducted by South Korean epidemiologists, Fernando said that people are most likely to contract the virus from their family members than from those outside.
Fernando likewise, noted that people are afraid to go to quarantine facilities since they feel that it is more risky to stay in cramped cubicles in the said facilities.
“The people are afraid to go to these facilities. So they would rather choose to stay in their homes, putting their families at risk of infection,” Fernando said.
“We have to allay the fear of the patients while at the same time protect the well-being of their families,” the lawmaker added.
As of July 29, there are 83,673 COVID-19 cases in the country, with recoveries at 26,617 and death toll at 1,947.
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