Requirements for house quarantine
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila (The Freeman) - September 28, 2020 - 12:00am

For our special presentation on our talk show “Straight from the Sky” we will discuss with Cordova Mayor Mary Therese Cho, the daughter of my friend, Adelino Sitoy, Presidential Adviser on Legislative Affairs. When I was told the Cebu Cordova Expressway Link was being constructed, I knew that not only would this bridge bring a better future for Cebu, but also link the town of Cordova, which is just across Cebu City. So I invited Mayor Cho for this interview for us to know what Cordova is doing to prepare itself to become a future city. Already from this interview, I learned Cordova has 10 sister cities in South Korea, thanks to the fact that Mayor Cho is married to a South Korean. Cordova also entered a deal with SM Holdings to develop certain areas for commercial use, something that will soon transform Cordova from a sleepy town into a bustling metropolis!

So watch this terrific interview with Mayor Cho on SkyCable’s channel 53 at 8 p.m. with replays on Wednesday and Saturday same time and channel. We also have replays on MyTV’s channel 30 at 9 p.m. Monday and at 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday.

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The news said some patients are exempt from the recent decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Diseases that requires facility-based isolation among asymptomatic COVID-19 patients and those with mild symptoms. Under IATF’s Resolution No. 75, those exempted are the vulnerable or those with comorbidities, minors, senior citizens, people with underlying health conditions, pregnant women, persons with disability who cannot carry-out self-care, and immunocompromised patients. This means people like me who had a kidney transplant.

However, these individuals can be exempted if evaluation by a local health officer shows their houses meet the conditions. This homecare checklist includes considerations on infrastructure, accommodation, and resource for patient care and support. I have this advantage as my family prepared an isolation room for me as I recovered from my kidney transplant. However, my isolation was a month after my transplant, while staying at home during the COVID-19 lockdown has taken at least five months.

If possible, a patient in home isolation should have a separate bathroom. If none, the bathroom would have to be disinfected immediately after the patient uses it. Homes should also have a solid waste and sewage disposal.

In terms of accommodations, there should be a separate bedroom for the patient, or separate bed, so long as there are no vulnerable persons in the household.

In terms of resource for patient care and support, authorities said there should be a primary caregiver in the residence who isn’t at high risk for complications. I’m glad the IATF thought of this because there are many senior citizens who ought to be exempted from their rulings.

Aside from these conditions, home isolation for asymptomatic and mild cases may be allowed if Ligtas COVID-19 Centers in the region are fully occupied and the local government unit doesn’t have sufficient isolation facilities as confirmed by the local Regional Task Force on COVID-19. Meanwhile in Cebu City, the Emergency Operations Center has made it a point to bring to isolation centers residents who are asymptomatic and those with mild symptoms to prevent home transmission of the virus.

Data from the Department of Health-7 as of September 25 showed that Cebu City has 391 remaining active cases, including nine new cases. Of this number, 299 patients are in isolation while the rest are in hospitals.

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Last week, Pres. Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte spoke before the 75th anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and he emphasized that when the vaccine for COVID-19 is available, it should be given to all nations that need it. A few days later it was the turn of Pope Francis to speak before the UNGA and he emphasized that the poor and weakest members of society should get preferential treatment when a vaccine for the coronavirus is ready.

Speaking from the Vatican in a video address to the UN General Assembly, Pope Francis said the worldwide pandemic had highlighted the urgent need to promote public health and ensure access to vaccines. If anyone should be given preference, let it be the poorest, the most vulnerable, those who so often experience discrimination because they have neither power nor economic resources.

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