PhilHealth to shoulder hospital expenses of victims of food poisoning

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 4, 2019   •   2310

The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) assured to shoulder the hospital expenses of the victims of food poisoning at the birthday celebration of former first lady Imelda Marcos.

PhilHealth President and CEO Ricardo Morales said all victims who are PhilHealth members and are confined in private and public hospitals can avail their benefits.

“PhilHealth pays up to P6,000 for food poisoning or acute gastroenteritis with moderate to severe dehydration when confined in any PhilHealth accredited hospital,” he said.

Meanwhile, non-members can avail the Point of Service (POS) Program in government hospitals.

“We want to assure those affected that in case hospitalization is required, they can bank on their PhilHealth coverage for financial protection,” Morales adds.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

Burial for COVID-19 victims allowed but should be done within 12 hours—DOH

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 13, 2020

Burial for victims of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is allowed but should be done within 12 hours, according to the guidelines implemented by the Department of Health (DOH).

“We are still following our Code on Sanitation dito sa ating bansa and ang Law for Notifiable Diseases. Nakalagay dito na ang isang pasyenteng mamamatay sa infectious disease, kailangan within 12 hours mailibing natin, (We are still following our Code on Sanitation and Law for Notifiable Disease in our country. It is stated that a patient who succumbed to an infectious disease should be buried within 12 hours),” according to the statement of DOH Spokesperson Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire.

The protocols for the burial of COVID-19 victims is based on the Department Circular No. 0067 released in February.

Vergeire also said the casket should be double sealed and should not be reopened once it is closed. She added that buried remains of patients infected with the novel coronavirus shall not be exhumed for whatever reason.

The DOH said they are aware of the increasing number of COVID-19 deaths and the long queues in crematoriums. There are also reports of dwindling supply of urns. AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

DOH still allows home quarantine but under strict guidelines

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 13, 2020

The Department of Health (DOH) clarified that home quarantine is still allowed provided it passes strict health and safety guidelines.

DOH Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire said a home quarantine should meet several conditions otherwise a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patient should stay in the isolation facilities provided by their local government.

Kailangan may sarili silang kuwarto at may sariling banyo sa bahay. Pangalawa, masisiguro na may adequate monitoring sa kanila. Kung hindi natin maco-comply conditions, the best pa rin talaga ang Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facility (They need to have their own room and bathroom at home. Secondly, there should be adequate monitoring. If they cannot comply with the conditions, it is best if they are transferred to the Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facility),she said.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, co-chair of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) on Sunday (July 12) discouraged home quarantine for mild COVID-19 patients due to the risk of spreading the disease at home. –AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

DOH warns against buying and selling of blood plasma

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 13, 2020

The Department of Health (DOH) warned the public against buying and selling of blood plasma taken from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) survivors.

DOH Spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire said there is a high health risk in buying blood plasma from unverified sellers.

May mga sakit na maaaring maisalin galing diyan sa mga dugo na binebenta natin (Blood that are sold could contain diseases that can be transmitted). Ito po ang mga (these are) transmissible infections through the blood. This is very risky kasi magkakasakit ang pagbibigyan natin ng mga dugong ito (because it could sicken the recipient), ” she said.

The DOH has received reports of recovered COVID-19 patients selling blood plasma at P80,000 per bag in Cebu City. Vergeire said there is no guarantee the blood plasma underwent proper evaluation to ensure that it is safe for blood transfusion.

Vergeire said blood plasma from COVID-19 survivors contains antibodies that can help fight the infection as well as boost the immune system of COVID-19 patients. However, COVID-19 survivors need to undergo proper screening in qualified hospitals and blood centers that are conducting convalescent plasma therapy.

Kaya nga ayaw natin na pinagbebenta o ayaw nating pinababayaran ang dugo. Gusto natin na inii-screen muna natin ang mga pasyente bago sila makapagbigay ng dugo para maiwasan ang mga ganitong risks (That is why we do not want these blood plasma to be sold. We want to screen the patients first before donation to avoid risks),” she said.

The Health Department also discourages COVID-19 survivors from selling their blood plasma and donate them instead. A website called, plasmangpagasa.com, has been launched for COVID-19 survivors to register and donate their blood.

Meanwhile, DOH Region 7 has begun their investigation on the sale of blood plasma in their area. AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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