This July 9, 2020 photo shows a barangay in San Juan City in total lockdown.
The STAR/Boy Santos
DOH: Home quarantine not discouraged but rules must be followed
Gaea Katreena Cabico ( - July 13, 2020 - 3:53pm

MANILA, Philippines — Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients are not discouraged from observing home quarantine, the Department of Health said Monday but it stressed that minimum health protocols must be strictly practiced to prevent the spread of the virus inside households.

“Hindi naman po natin dini-discourage ang home quarantine. Meron nga tayong joint administrative order kung saan home quarantining is allowed. Pero ang sinasabi ko nga may mga condition tayo para mag-home quarantine,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a media forum.

(We are not discouraging home quarantine. We have a joint administrative order where home quarantining is allowed. But what I’m saying is we have conditions that must be met for home quarantine.)

These include having a separate room and bathroom for COVID-19 patients as well as strict and proper monitoring of patients’ health condition.

“Ngayon kung di rin naman ma-cocomply with ‘yan, di na dapat tayo mag-home quarantine. Dun na lang tayo sa temporary treatment and monitoring facility,” Vergeire said.

(Now, if we cannot comply with these, we should not do home quarantine. Instead, we should go to a temporary treatment and monitoring facility.)

The health official issued the clarification after Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said that the government is discouraging home quarantine for COVID-19 patients. Nograles co-chairs the government’s coronavirus task force.

He was quoted in media reports as saying that even asymptomatic patients should undergo facility-based quarantine.

Vergeire said around 38% of beds in mega community quarantine facilities were occupied, while about 25% of beds in isolation units managed by local governments were occupied.

As of June 11, 12,683 suspected and probable coronavirus cases were under home quarantine.

Last week, the DOH asked hospitals to refer mild and asymptomatic COVID-19 patients to temporary treatment centers to help ease pressure on hospitals nationwide as the country faces another surge in new infections.

St. Luke’s Medical Center and Makati Medical Center were added to the list of hospitals that have reported that all of their beds dedicated to COVID-19 were occupied.

The coronavirus pandemic has so far sickened 56,259 people with 1,543 deaths. 

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