COVID-19 facility isolation may cause patients to lie about conditions â DOH
At a press briefing, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire agreed with doctors and health advocates who said that patients may hide their symptoms and refuse COVID-19 testing if facility isolation is made mandatory.
Release / Department of Public Works and Highways
COVID-19 facility isolation may cause patients to lie about conditions — DOH
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - October 1, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) yesterday warned that making the facility-based isolation a requirement for confirmed asymptomatic and mild cases of COVID-19 may cause patients to lie about their conditions.

At a press briefing, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire agreed with doctors and health advocates who said that patients may hide their symptoms and refuse COVID-19 testing if facility isolation is made mandatory.

“I don’t disagree because that is a possibility. This has been discussed during a meeting of the IATF and the experts were saying this is one of the disadvantages or something that might happen if we do that,” she noted, referring to the Inter-Agency Task Force.

Vergeire was reacting to concerns raised by multi-sector groups, including the Healthcare Professionals Alliance Against COVID-19 (HPAAC), that making facility-based isolation mandatory may cause the virus to spread further.

HPAAC is a group of doctors that called for a timeout in August, leading to the imposition of modified enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Laguna, Rizal and Cavite.

Last week, the IATF issued Resolution No. 74, which provides that facility-based isolation shall be required for confirmed asymptomatic and mild COVID-19 cases.

Vergeire clarified the resolution does not totally ban home isolation as there are exemptions.

She added that preferred to be placed in temporary treatment and monitoring facilities (TTMFs) are the confirmed positives, those with symptoms or who had close contact with an infected person so they could be monitored closely.

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