MANILA – Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Wednesday said they are targeting around 200 residents of Navotas who will be placed in isolation facilities to stem the transmission of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the community.
In an interview on ABS-CBN's Teleradyo, Año said the house-to-house search for mild and asymptomatic COVID-19 patients is being done in Cebu City and will be implemented in Navotas City after the city has been placed under a 2-week lockdown following the continuous increase in virus infections.
“Target natin dito mga 200 ang maililipat natin sa isolation facility, siguro sa Philippine Arena natin ilalagay para masiguro na mabantayan ang pag quarantine nila at after 14 days naman ay maayos na sila mostly asymptomatic naman at mild symptoms,” Año said.
The DILG chief allayed the public’s fears by saying that the local government unit will take the lead and not the police.
“Wag kayong mag-alala, 'yung bahay-bahay na tinatawag natin ito naman ay pangungunahan ng ating public health authorities at ang ating mga pulis ay mag-a-assist lang,” he said.
Año said the LGU and public health officials will be assisted by police during the house-to-house search in areas under localized lockdown.
“Ito ay gagawin natin sa mga merong localized lockdown at meron naman tayong listahan ng positive na naka home quarantine dito,” he said.
He said an ambulance, not a police mobile, will fetch those who need to be moved to an isolation facility.
“Kailangang ambulansiya kasi violation ng protocol pagka mobile saka 'yung pulis hindi naman trained ang ating pulis d'yan, its still the health officials assisted by the police,” he clarified.
He added that it is a lot easier to recover in isolation facilities than at home where there could be other people at risk of being exposed to the virus.
He assured that isolation facilities have internet connection for patients to regularly get in touch with their relatives and free food.
“Yan ang direction natin. We will make sure na mailabas natin at maalagaan 'yung ating mga positive patients,” said Año.
Año appealed for cooperation from the public especially from those who would insist on home quarantine instead of LGU or government-run isolation facilities.
“Hindi pupuwede. Kailangang tingnan natin 'yung kondisyones. Ito ay naayon sa batas sa RA 11332 ito yung tinatawag nating procedures and surveillance and response to notifiable diseases, epidemics and health events of public concern,” he said, adding that those found violating the law may face a fine of P20,000 to 50,000 and 1 to 6 months imprisonment.
He said those who refuse to be isolated or fail to report their condition are placing their loved ones and even their neighbors at risk. "Ang iniuutos sa batas dapat protektahan natin kapakanan ng ating mga kababayan,” he said.
As of Tuesday, COVID-19 cases in the Philippines reached a total of 57,545, of which 35,483 were live cases.