Treatment czar says better not to allow home quarantines
Former health secretary Manuel Dayrit on Friday said a ban on home quarantine could backfire in the government's efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
"I agree that could have unintended effects. You have to apply it cogently, as well as selectively. If that's the policy, it's the application," Dayrit said during a forum organized by the Foreign Correspondence Association of the Philippines.
Dayrit said patients could refuse to be put in isolation centers set by the government, which could force them to hide symptoms.
They might even hide their test results, which could lead to more complications in their pursuit to curb the spread of the virus.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año has previously said the Inter Agency Task Force (IATF) on COVID-19 is still studying the need to enforce the ban.
Meanwhile, Health Undersecretary Dr. Leopoldo Vega, appointed "treatment czar", blamed home quarantine practices for the continuing spread of the virus.
"Hindi na dapat ginagawa ang home quarantine sa mga mild, asymptomatic kasi nakita nila sa pagbisita namin sa lahat ng mga local government units 'yung tumataas ang positive cases ay nanggagaling mga pami-pamilya, whether rich or poor, sa bahay nagiging positive," Vega said in an interview on TeleRadyo.
"So para makontrol ang transmission, mabuting walang gagawing home quarantine."
Vega was confident that the existing COVID-19 treatment centers could handle the influx of cases since they are not fully occupied at the moment.
"Sa ngayon kung titignan n'yo 'yung mga temporary facilities, nasa 48 to 52 percent ang occupancy at nagpapagawa din ang gobyerno ng maraming isolation facility, kaya siguradong kakayanin 'yan," he said.
"Siguro at the start madami 'yan pero pag na-isolate sila, dahan dahan babagsak ang trend na 'yan."
Vega assured that the government will foot the bill for the patients' accommodation.
" 'Pag in-isolate ka talaga ang magbabayad d'yan gobyerno po through the Department of Tourism at Office of Civil Defense. Not unless kung may kaya kayo at gusto n'yong piliin ang tirahan, babayaran nyo 'yan. Choice n'yo 'yan kung saan n'yo gusto," Vega said.