Transfer of COVID-19 patients to quarantine centers for treatment is ‘urgent, necessary’ – DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   July 17, 2020   •   582

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has stressed that transferring patients with novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) under the government’s “Oplan Kalinga” program is “urgent and necessary not only to closely monitor and treat them but also for the good of the community.”

In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the move is plainly to ensure that COVID-19 patients will be attended to and that they will not spread the virus to their families and the community.

“Kapag nasa Ligtas Centers sila, mas mababantayan at maaalagaan sila doon at higit sa lahat, maliit na ang chance na maikalat nila ang virus sa kanilang pamilya,” he said.

He also reiterated that the program will be led by local government officials and health workers and that police will only assist in transporting the patients to quarantine facilities.

He added that reports stating that the government troops will conduct a “house-to-house search” in a police-type operations are fake news.

Año said that local health workers will not do “house-to-house” as not all not all households will be visited by the team headed by the local government unit’s (LGUs) Local Epidemiological Surveillance Units (LESU) “but only those listed in those COVID positive in the community.”

 “Hindi po natin uubusin ang oras ng ating LESU sa pag-isa-isa ng mga bahay ng mga tao. Ito po ay fake news. Tanging yung mga na-test po na positive na kasama sa kanilang listahan lamang at hindi makakapag-comply sa minimum requirement para payagang makapag-home quarantine ang ating dadalhin sa mga Ligtas Center,” he said.

The DILG chief emphasized that coronavirus-infected patients will be brought to Ligtas Centers as a precautionary measure to curtail transmission and to ensure that they are well taken care of as these isolation centers are equipped to handle their medical needs as opposed to practicing home quarantine.

He assured that food and all other needs of the patients transferred to quarantine facilities will be provided for.

“Ito ang siguradong paraan para mabantayan natin at matalo natin ang virus na ito,” he said.

The move comes after the government’s task force against COVID-19 issued guidelines for the conduct of home quarantine.

The task force earlier said that patients showing mild flu-like symptoms or asymptomatic are allowed to do home quarantine if he/she has a separate room where the patient can be confined; if the patient has his own comfort room; and if he is not living with people who are vulnerable to COVID-19 such as senior citizen and immunocompromised individuals, among others.

If these protocols cannot be observed at home, then the patient must be brought to a local quarantine facility.

“Ito po ay tungkulin ng inyong pamahalaan sa ating mga mamamayan na naaayon sa batas lalo na ngayong panahon ng krisis at kayo ay lumalaban sa isang pandemia. Makipagtulungan po tayo sa gobyerno dahil ang kapakanan at kalusugan ng buong komunidad na ang nakasalalay,” Año said.

IATF to study mayors’ bid to retain Metro Manila under GCQ after Sept. 30 – Año

Robie de Guzman   •   September 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Most mayors in the National Capital Region (NCR) are in favor of extending the general community quarantine (GCQ) being implemented in the region, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said on Friday.

Año said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) will meet on Sunday, Sept. 27 to discuss the recommendation of the Metro Manila Council on the next quarantine status in NCR by October.

“Maraming mga mayors ng NCR ang gusto pa rin mag-GCQ pero depende pa rin sa usapan sa Sunday,” he said.

Metro Manila is under GCQ until Sept. 30 as earlier recommended by the IATF and approved by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Año said they will thoroughly discuss the Metro Manila mayors’ proposal in order to balance the factors of public health and economy which has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Dalawa ‘yan: mahigpit na MGCQ o maluwag na GCQ. Kapag titignan mo mas maganda talaga na naka-GCQ tayo kahit magluwag ka ng konti pero meron kang talagang mas mataaas na panuntunan kaysa yung nag MGCQ ka pagkatapos hihigpitan mo,” he said.

The Department of Trade and Industry earlier said that Metro Manila could be placed under modified GCQ as this would allow the reopening of more industries to help revive the economy.

The IATF is also set to meet with Duterte on Sunday night to discuss the next quarantine classifications in NCR. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Facility-based isolation for asymptomatic, mild COVID-19 cases now mandatory

Marje Pelayo   •   September 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) is now requiring facility-based isolation for confirmed asymptomatic and mild coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases through IATF Resolution 74.

The new policy however, exempts patients who are considered vulnerable or having comorbidities and their home meets the conditions specified in the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Joint Administrative Order 2020-0001. 

Likewise, another exception is when the Ligtas COVID-19 Centers within the region are fully occupied and the local government unit does not have sufficient isolation facilities.

Iloilo City placed under MECQ from Sept. 25 until Oct. 9

Marje Pelayo   •   September 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Iloilo City has been placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) effective September 25 until October 9 due to the increasing number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the city.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque the new measure is based on the issued Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Resolution 74 which also requires facility-based isolation for confirmed asymptomatic and mild COVID-19 cases.

However, the resolution exempts patients who are considered vulnerable or having comorbidities as confirmed by the local health officer.

Another exception would be when the Ligtas COVID-19 Centers within the region are fully occupied and the local government unit does not have sufficient isolation facilities.

On Tuesday (September 22), 33 employees of the Iloilo City Hall tested positive for COVID-19 prompting the three-day temporary closure of the establishment beginning Wednesday (September 23) as declared by Mayor Jerry Treñas in Executive Order No. 215-A.

Prior to that, 13 barangays in the city were placed under total lockdown due to the increase in community transmission of COVID-19.

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