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Facility-based quarantine still better than home quarantine: DOH

July 14, 2020 - Tuesday 5:07 PM by PNA

Article Banner Image FACILITY-BASED QUARANTINE. Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega answers questions during the Palace virtual presser on Monday (July 13, 2020). Vega said it is still better for asymptomatic and mild coronavirus disease (Covid-19) patients to undergo facility-based quarantine than home quarantine. (Screenshot)

MANILA – Although home quarantine under strict conditions is still allowed, Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega on Monday said it is better for asymptomatic and mild coronavirus disease (Covid-19) patients to undergo quarantine in temporary treatment facilities.

Vega made this remark after Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles bared that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) is discouraging home quarantine for asymptomatic and mild cases.

“Mahirap i-quarantine sa bahay kapag wala siyang sariling banyo, wala siyang sariling space for isolation. Mas maigi kung mag-quarantine sila sa temporary treatment facilities kung walang structure na puwede siyang ma-isolate (It would be difficult to undergo home quarantine especially if they don’t have their own bathrooms, space for isolation. It would be better to stay in temporary treatment facilities),” he said in a virtual Palace briefing.

He said the IATF-EID is trying to avoid home quarantine to minimize the risk of transmission within the household and even the entire community.

National Task Force (NTF) on Covid-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. cited the example of a barangay in Cebu City which had nearly 2,000 Covid-19 patients which underwent home quarantine which was later proven ineffective.

“Great disadvantage ng home quarantine. Kasi talaga po hindi natin mapigilan na iyong mga positive ay makipagkuwentuhan sa kanilang pamilya at sa kanilang mga kamag-anak (Home quarantine is a great disadvantage. Because we can’t stop those who tested positive for Covid to talk with their family and relatives),” he said.

In a separate press briefing, Health Spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire said home quarantine should not be the option if protocols such as having their own room or space and bathroom cannot be allowed.

She said the health department is currently studying home quarantines which are not properly done as one of the factors behind the rise of cases.

However, she pointed out that the spike in Covid-19 cases cannot be entirely blamed on improper home quarantines.

Vergeire said there are 12,684 suspected and probable Covid-19 patients undergoing home quarantine nationwide as of July 11.

Some local governments have transferred them to local temporary quarantine facilities.

On Monday, Department of Health (DOH) reported 836 additional cases, bringing to 57,006 the total number of Covid-19 infections with 20,371 recoveries and 1,599 deaths.

Of the confirmed cases, 38,679 classified as active Covid-19 cases where about 92.2 percent are mild while 7.1 percent are asymptomatic. Azer Parrocha