Marikina mayor to hospital: Revisit policies in discharge of virus patients
MANILA, Philippines — A hospital in Marikina City should revisit its policies on the discharge of patients after a patient was prematurely discharged despite testing positive for the coronavirus that causes the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said on Friday.
Teodoro said the patient was later brought to an evacuation center in the city during the onslaught of Typoon Ulysses.
“What is troubling us and what is alarming, iyong una naming case galing sa isang hospital. Kalalabas lang sa hospital tapos bumagyo, pumunta sa evacuation center so paglabas niyang hospital mayroon na siyang COVID-19,” he said in a phone interview with INQUIRER.net explaining his frustrations on the first evacuee who contracted COVID-19.
(Our first case was from the hospital. He had just discharged then after the typhoon, he went to the evacuation center so after being treated, it turns out he has COVID-19.)
“So we called the attention of the hospital on this matter para ma-irevisit iyong policy nila na dapat hindi nagpapalabas ng COVID positive or dapat tinetest nila before pauwiin ang pasyente kasi nakakahawa,” he added.
(So we called the attention of the hospital on this matter so that they can revisit the policy that they must test first or must not release COVID-19 positive patients.)
He said the Marikina-based hospital, Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center, defended its move to have the patient early discharged as it is compliant with the Department of Health (DOH) protocols.
But for Teodoro, the hospital should revisit or revise its standards.
“Iyong nakausap ko naman ang hospital, incidentally DOH hospital siya, sabi compliant sa DOH standard. Sabi ko kung compliant sila, baguhin nila ang standard kasi ‘diba may problema doon?” he said.
(I talked to the hospital, which incidentally is a DOH-accredited hospital, it said it was compliant with DOH standards. If they are compliant, they must revise the standards because there could be a problem.)
To solve this, Teodoro recommended that hospitals still test patients to make sure they have recovered from the disease.
“They do testing, kasi ang DOH kasi ang ginagamit nilang policy iyong time-based recovery e. Iyong after 14 days, they [DOH] deemed it na negative [for the virus] iyong pasyente whether tested or not ‘diba? Kasi baka iyong pasyente wala nang symptoms, based on clinical evaluation, pwede na pakawalan,” he said.
(They should do testing because DOH uses time-based recovery as its policy. After 14 days, they deemed the patient as negative for the virus whether the patient is tested or not. Because the patient might not have any symptoms based on clinical evaluation, the patient can be discharged.)
“Pero there should be testing para definitive iyong whether you are COVID-free or not. The problem primarily, it conflicts with our mandate na prevention of viral transmission. Ang hospital tinitignan lang kung magaling ang pasyente sa other illness niya pero ang problem is COVID,” the local chief executive went on.
(But there should still be testing so that it is definitive whether they are COVID free or not. The hospital is always looking at the patient’s recovery for other illnesses but the problem is COVID.)
Meanwhile, Teodoro said there are still five evacuees from Typhoon Ulysses who remain infected with COVID-19. They are currently staying at different Marikina quarantine centers for the treatment and completion of their isolation period.
He added that the city is also conducting the testing of the close contacts of the infected evacuees, who turned negative for the virus.
“Hindi situated o located in one evacuation center iyong lima. Hiwa-hiwalay. Tapos lahat ng contacts nila both primary and secondary, negative naman lahat pati family members nila,” he said.
(The infected individuals are located in separate evacuation centers. All of their close contacts are negative as well as their families.)
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