DOH clarifies home quarantine allowed, but stresses rules should be followed

Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire clarified on Monday, July 13, that the government is not discouraging the public from observing home quarantine for mild coronavirus cases but stressed minimum rules must be followed to prevent the spread of the disease at home. 

“We’re not discouraging home quarantine. We have a joint administrative order where home quarantining is allowed. What we are saying is there are conditions that must be met for home quarantine,” Vergeire said in a mix of English and Filipino. 

“Now if we cannot comply with these [conditions], we should not do home quarantine. We should go to temporary treatment and monitoring facilities instead,” she added during a press briefing on Monday.

Among the rules cited by Vergeire for home quarantine included having a separate room and bathroom for coronavirus patients as well as observing strict monitoring of patients’ health condition. (READ: How to take care of mild coronavirus symptoms at home)

Driving the news: Vergeire issued the clarification after Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles – who co-chairs the government’s coronavirus task force – said the government was discouraging home quarantine. 

Nograles said individuals should instead be in temporary treatment and monitoring facilities as there were greater chances patients with mild cases could infect other family members. 

Space available: Vergeire said about 25% of beds in COVID-ligtas isolation centers managed by local government units were occupied as of July 10. Meanwhile, about 39% of beds in mega-ligtas facilities manned by the national government were occupied as of the same date.  

This means that as of July 10, 17,806 of the 52,223 beds in COVID-ligtas facilities were taken while 1,235 of the 1,958 beds in mega-ligtas facilities were occupied. 

The DOH reported about 12,684 suspected and probable coronavirus patients were currently under home quarantine as of July 11. 

Vergeire said these patients continued to be monitored by local health officials while some others were transferred to local quarantine facilities. – Rappler.com

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs, the overseas Filipino workers, and elections. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.

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