Using COVID care kits, here's how you can maximize recovery at home

Wena Cos, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 21 2022 05:24 PM | Updated as of Jan 21 2022 07:22 PM

COVID care kit from the office of Vice President Leni Robredo. Her office relied on donations from Unilab, Clorox International Philippines, Inc., Otsuka-Solar Philippines Incorporated, Immaculate Conception Academy Greenhills Batch 1981, and other AngatBuhay partners and donors to distribute these kits to patients of her E-Konsulta initiative. OVP photo, April 22, 2021
COVID care kit from the office of Vice President Leni Robredo. Her office relied on donations from Unilab, Clorox International Philippines, Inc., Otsuka-Solar Philippines Incorporated, Immaculate Conception Academy Greenhills Batch 1981, and other AngatBuhay partners and donors to distribute these kits to patients of her E-Konsulta initiative. OVP photo, April 22, 2021

MANILA - Home care health kits are now an essential tool in every family's battle against the coronavirus. 

Local government units and the Office of Vice President Leni Robredo have distributed these kits since early 2021, and the Department of Health started distributing its "Kalinga Kit" in January. 

Depending on the source, these kits usually contain paracetamol, Vitamin C tablets, disinfectants, soap, tissue, face masks, COVID monitoring sheet, oximeter, thermometer, antibiotics (if there is prescription), among others. 

In Quezon City, individuals need only report to their local Barangay Health Emergency Response team to receive a health kit by the next day. But with the recent increase in cases, kits have been arriving two to three days later. 

"The CESU (City Epidemiological Surveillance Unit) confirms [the reports], and the BHERT, nagbibigay na kami automatic ng food pack at health kit ng lokal na gobyerno," said Barangay Captain Willy Cara of Bagong Silangan, Quezon City. 

(The CESU confirms the reports from the BHERT, and we automatically send out food packs and the health kits from the LGU.)

Health kits from Quezon City contain medicines for adults in tablet form and for children in syrup bottles. Each kit also has several packets of oral rehydration salts, a thermometer, masks, alcohol, and a pulse oximeter that comes with batteries and a case. 

In Malabon, kits are made available not just to COVID-positive individuals, but also residents who have had close contact and exposure and have to undergo quarantine. 

Residents in Marikina also get food packs from the LGU as soon as the CESU receives automated reports of positive results from the city's home diagnostic center and private testing laboratories and hospitals. 

Marikeños may request for additional medicine which will come packaged with the food from their individually assigned case managers. 

"Sa ngayon naka-concentrate tayo sa food packs, sa vitamins and medicines. 'Yung essential na kailangan yun ang binibigay natin yung may kinalaman direkta sa treatment and recovery ng pasyente," Marikina Mayor Marcy Teodoro said in an interview with ABS-CBN News. 

(We are concentrating on food and supplies that directly address the treatment and recovery of patients.)
 

The DOH Kalinga care kit. Photo by Wena Cos, ABS-CBN News
The DOH Kalinga care kit. Photo by Wena Cos, ABS-CBN News

Symptomatic relief should meanwhile cover basic medicines for common COVID symptoms such as fever, cough, cold, and sore throat, said Domingo. 

In case medicines are not available, there are alternatives to help lower a person's temperature. 

"Hindi necessary na paracetamol lagi, 'yung pagpupunas ng bimpo na basa, damp cloth na pinapahid sa noo, bibig, kilikili, singit, tumatalab pa rin po yan (You don't always need to take paracetamol. You can also wipe a damp cloth on the forehead, the mouth, under the arms, and in between the legs)," Domingo said.

Hydration helps in addressing colds and cough, he added, and chest cupping can also relieve coughing and loosen phlegm from the lungs. 

Gargling warm water with salt twice a day can also soothe a sore throat.

Infection control items meanwhile should include masks, alcohol, soap, a garbage bag where COVID-positive individuals can throw and seal away their contaminated trash, and gloves, to reduce probability of infecting other household members.

Domingo emphasized that home care is the actual frontline defense for COVID-19. 

"Ang unang laban talaga ay sa bahay, pag binigyan mo ng home care kits ang isang pamilya, lalo pag na-monitor, naibsan ang sintomas at na-prevent ang pagkalat ng virus, doon pa lang matutulungan mo na ang frontliners natin," he said. 

(The first battle is really at home. If every family has a home care kit, most especially monitoring their status, you can address symptoms and prevent the spread of the virus, thereby helping alleviate the burden of our healthcare workers.)

"Tuwang-tuwa sila pag nakikita nila na yung workload nila mababawasan kasi yung mild, asymptomatic, maalagaan gamit yung mga home health kits. Hindi na kailangan pumunta at punuin ang mga kama sa ospital," Domingo added. 

(You already help our medical frontliners when you address and monitor your symptoms effectively at home. We are happy when our workload stays manageable because mild and asymptomatic cases are taken care of at home. That way, we don't fill hospital beds too fast.)

The DOH echoed this, and reminded that hospitals should remain vacant for severe and critical COVID-19 cases, as well as non-COVID patients that need immediate medical attention. 

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