Palace: Unclear DOH rules on home quarantine pushed COVID-19 cases up


Posted at Jul 23 2020 04:29 PM

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MANILA — The health department "should have been clearer" with guidelines for the home quarantine of coronavirus patients because this contributed to the spread of the respiratory disease, Malacañang said Thursday. 

"I think hindi naging malinaw kasi ‘yung sinabi ng DOH that asymptomatic and the mild [cases] can stay home. Hindi nila nilinaw na you must have your own room and bathroom," Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque told reporters. 

(I think the statement of the DOH that asymptomatic and the mild cases can stay home was not clear. They did not clarify that you must have your own room and bathroom.)

"Sa tingin ko, isa sa mga dahilan ito kaya tumaas ang numero natin. But we’re rectifying it now. We have fully intensified our testing," he added. 

(I think this is among the reasons our numbers increased. But we’re rectifying it now. We have fully intensified our testing.)

Patients who want to quarantine in their homes should also not be living with senior citizens, pregnant women or those with comorbidities who are vulnerable to catching COVID-19, authorities said. 

An inter-agency task force recently launched the Oplan Kalinga program, under which COVID-19 patients whose houses are not suitable for home quarantine would be brought to isolation facilities. 

"Nakikita natin na wala pang 2 weeks na in-announce natin itong Oplan Kalinga, napupuno na iyong ating isolation centers. Ganoon kadami ang nakikita nating positive because of intensified testing daily," Roque said.

(We are seeing that it has not been 2 weeks since we announce Oplan Kalinga, yet our isolation centers are already almost full. That's how many positive cases we are finding because of intensified testing daily.)

"I have to recognize that the DOH perhaps should have been clearer at the onset na stay at home if you have your own room and you have your own bathroom," he said. 

The surge in coronavirus cases came after government relaxed quarantine measures in Metro Manila, the virus epicenter, and other parts of the country in a bid to revive the economy crippled by a lockdown of over two months.