Home quarantine protocol stays until PH is in 'ideal conditions'

Gabriel Agcaoili, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 08 2020 11:34 PM | Updated as of Sep 09 2020 12:42 PM

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MANILA - Home quarantine for asymptomatic coronavirus patients or mild cases will still be allowed, an official of the national COVID-19 task force said on Tuesday, amid reports that government officials may prohibit self-isolation amid to the continuous rise in infections in the Philippines.

National Task Force (NTF) COVID-19 spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said Tuesday the home quarantine protocol will stay, as long as the country isn't in "ideal conditions" to address the pandemic.

"So, 'yung sinasabi nating ideal conditions, may sapat na bilang ng isolation at quarantine facilities. Karamihan po sa ating mga kababayan kasi ay nasa mga lugar o tirahan na talaga namang hindi kaya mag-isolate. Eh baka mangyari diyan, baka nasa bubong na 'yung naka-isolate, kawawa naman," Padilla told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.

Padilla said patients who can isolate themselves from others at their own houses, such as having their own bedroom and bathroom, are still allowed to follow the protocol.

"Pero dadating 'yung panahon na, kung saka-sakali, na makapag-set up tayo ng lahat ng isolation facilities sa lahat ng LGUs (local government units) na sapat sa bilang ng nagkakaroon ng sakit. So, hindi pa po nararating 'yon," he said.

"Pwede pa rin pong payagan [ang home quarantine] basta 'yung condition po na sinabi natin ay naroroon."

Asymptomatic patients or mild cases are allowed to stay home if they have their own rooms, their own bathrooms, and if they do not have any family member who are sick, vulnerable, pregnant, or elderly, Interior Sec. Eduardo Año said earlier.

Home quarantine has been widely discussed recently as more hospitals report full occupancy of their COVID-19 beds. This is because of the increase in COVID-19 cases, especially in Metro Manila, as the country eased quarantine measures to revive the economy.

The Department of Health earlier instructed hospitals to transfer their COVID-19 patients who are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms to temporary quarantine facilities.

As of posting, the Philippines has 241,987 confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 52,893 are active. The total number of recoveries is at 185,178 while the death toll in the country is at 3,916.