DOH to name hospitals of novel coronavirus patients, says it is safe to go there

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 09 2020 12:06 PM

MANILA — The Department of Health on Monday said the public should not fear going to hospitals where confirmed COVID-19 patients are confined.

"From hereon, the DOH will be disclosing hospital names after coordination with hospitals to combat unverified or fake news,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said during a Malacanang briefing.

"We would like to take this opportunity to reassure the public that our hospitals have infection prevention and controlled practices in place so there is no need to avoid going to these hospitals, especially if you feel unwell,” he added.

Over the weekend, the DOH announced that there are now 10 positive cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines. The four additional patients are staying in isolation rooms in the following private hospitals: St Luke's Medical Center in Taguig, Medical City in Ortigas, Makati Medical Center, and St. Luke's Medical Center in Quezon City.

Duque assured the public that the hospitals are handling the cases with care and are already placing affected health workers in quarantine.

With local transmission confirmed in the Philippines the government has declared a “Code Red” situation.

Duque said having “one localized transmission to sustained community transmission can happen very quickly so both fall under the Code Red.”

CONTACT TRACING

He said the DOH’s surveillance team is pro-actively contact tracing the people who interacted with the new cases.

Contacts are those who (1) provided direct care to the patients without proper personal protective equipment, (2) those who stayed in the same closed environment with the confirmed case in the last 14 days, (3) those who traveled in close proximity (1 meter or less) with the patient in the last 14-day period.

"Let me clarify that all others who have visited places frequented by confirmed cases of COVID-19 are not required to seek medical consultation and subject themselves to COVID-19 laboratory testing,” Duque said.

Instead, these people are asked to do “self-monitoring” and then visit health centers or rural health units if they experience symptoms related to COVID-19.