DOH issues home quarantine, isolation protocols

Shiela Crisostomo - The Philippine Star
DOH issues home quarantine, isolation protocols
Devotees at National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help at Baclaran in Parañaque City show their vaccine cards prior to entering church premises on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Metro Manila mayors had agreed to restrict activities and movement of unvaccinated individuals as COVID-19 cases surge anew.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — To prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed, the Department of Health (DOH) has issued an advisory on COVID-19 protocols for home quarantine and isolation.

Based on DOH Department Circular No. 2022-0002 dated Jan. 6, 2022, home quarantine and isolation is allowed for the “management of probable and confirmed COVID-19 cases with no symptoms, mild symptoms or moderate symptoms.”

“As the country faces another threat due to the continuous increase in COVID-19 cases and the new Omicron variant, proper protocols for quarantine and isolation are needed to avoid overwhelming numbers of patients in the health facilities and hospitals,” the advisory read.

Home quarantine is also allowed as “step-down management of COVID-19 cases from hospitals who are recovering and presenting mild or no symptoms but shall need to finish the indicated isolation period.”

According to DOH, the “minimum infrastructure requirements” for home isolation and quarantine include availability of a dedicated room and toilet, and oversight of a health care provider or the local government units (LGUs).

If there is a scarcity of beds in isolation facilities, the DOH said priority should be given to probable or confirmed COVID-19 cases who belong to the A2 and A3 sectors or the senior citizens and people with comorbidities “who cannot meet the home isolation requirements.”

The DOH noted that the quarantine period for close contacts and travelers should be seven days for fully vaccinated individuals and 14 days for partially vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals.

The isolation period for symptomatic and positive cases “regardless of vaccination status is 10 days for asymptomatic/mild/moderate, at the minimum, or as determined by attending physicians.”

The DOH added for the severe/critical cases, it should be 21 days or as determined by attending doctors.

Isolation pertains to the separation of the sick people with an infectious disease from people who are not sick. –  Helen Flores

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