It’s Inked: PH gov’t bans home quarantine for mild and asymptomatic COVID patients

A COVID isolation facility <i>Photo: Department of Health / FB</i>
A COVID isolation facility Photo: Department of Health / FB

The Philippine government has required all confirmed mild and asymptomatic coronavirus patients in the country to isolate in government-approved quarantine facilities, except those considered vulnerable by a certified health officer.

The mandate is part of Resolution No. 74, signed by the country’s coronavirus task force on Thursday to curb the “sharp rise” of COVID-19 cases.

Exemptions to the rule are “vulnerable” patients or what the resolution classifies as “minors, senior citizens, people with underlying health conditions, pregnant women, persons with disability who cannot carry-out self-care, and immunocompromised patients.”

Confirmed mild and asymptomatic patients who reside in areas where government-quarantine facilities have declared full capacity are also exempted from the ban.

The exempted patients are allowed to undergo home isolation but it should comply with joint guidelines issued by the Departments of Health and Interior and Local Government, which include isolating in a separate room until cleared by a certified local health official.

Read: PH gov’t seeks to ban home quarantine, says it spreads coronavirus within families

The ban was first floated by Interior Secretary Eduardo Año earlier this month, who claimed that there were enough isolation facilities that mild and asymptomatic patients can check themselves into while recovering from the respiratory disease. Earlier in July, Año said the government plans to conduct a police-assisted house-to-house search of mild and asymptomatic patients for transfer to underutilized isolation facilities. The directive drew widespread flak and was denied by Malacañang.
To date, the country’s confirmed coronavirus cases stands at 296,755, with 5,127 deaths, and 231,928 recoveries.

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