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Philippine govt discourages home-based quarantine

IATF on Emerging Infectious Diseases is seeing good indicators that could merit the lifting of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in many parts of Metro Manila, according to DILG spokesman and Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya. Soldier on the quarantine chekpoint in the Manila, Philippines. Photo: Boy Santos. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

MANILA, Jul 12, 2020, PNA. The national government is now discouraging home-based quarantine for those who tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) to minimize the risk of transmission within households, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said on Sunday, Philippine News Agency reported.

Nograles, also co-chair of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), said the government will instead be shifting its focus on facility-based quarantine to ensure that disease transmission is controlled.

“We are now discouraging yung tinatawag na mag (what you call) home quarantine. Dapat facility quarantine na e (It should be facility-based quarantine),” he said in an interview over DZBB.

He warned that there would be a higher chance that persons in the same household would contract Covid-19 even if the person who tested positive would self-isolate.

“So we’re now shifting that even those asymptomatic should be given facility-based quarantine),” he said.

According to Nograles, there are enough quarantine facilities that could accommodate even mild Covid-19 cases.

Localized lockdowns

Nograles said the second phase of the government’s National Action Plan against Covid-19 will push for a more proactive implementation of localized lockdowns nationwide.

In a recent meeting with mayors via Zoom, he emphasized the need to impose lockdowns for at least 14 days, not just two to five days.

“Fourteen days dapat kapag nagla-lockdown (A lockdown should be at least 14 days),” he said.

The incubation period for Covid-19 is on average five to six days, however, it can be increased to 14 days, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

As the world continues to grapple with Covid-19, Nograles also reiterated the importance of observing minimum health and safety standards such as physical distancing, wearing of face masks, and frequent handwashing.

Currently, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is enhancing its contact tracing efforts by hiring more contact tracers.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año also encouraged those who have a suspicion of being in contact with a possible Covid-19 patient to come forward and subject themselves to testing.

As of Saturday, the Philippines has 54,222 confirmed Covi-19 cases with 14,037 recoveries and 1,372 deaths.

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