The government is discouraging home quarantine for individuals who test positive for COVID-19 to lessen the risk of transmitting the virus to other persons inside the same household, but now prefers to have them confined to the quarantine facilities.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, during a Dobol B sa News TV interview on Sunday, said that what the government now prefers is that COVID-19 cases undergo facility quarantine instead.
“We are now discouraging ‘yung tinatawag na mag-home quarantine. Dapat facility quarantine na,” he said.
Nograles, who also serves as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, said there is a bigger chance that other members of the household will also contract COVID-19 if a person who tested positive for the disease undergoes home quarantine, even if he or she isolates himself or herself in a separate room.
“So we’re now shifting na kung mahawa, kahit asymptomatic, mas bibigyan ng priority na doon mag-facility quarantine. Anyway, marami pa naman tayong mga facilities na maka-accommodate ng mga mild cases,” he said.
“‘Yun ang ating mas ifo-focus ngayon na hindi na masyado doon sa home quarantine. Kung merong mga cases, dapat facility quarantine na sila,” he added.
Nograles said the IATF on Saturday held a virtual meeting with Metro Manila mayors. The IATF told them that if they were to impose a localized quarantine in their areas, a few days will not be enough—it has to be for two weeks.
“Kailangan mag-14 days na quarantine ka. Tulad ng ginagawa namin sa IATF, ang ginagawa namin sa IATF, every 15th and 30th kami nagbibigay ng community quarantine level sa iba’t ibang mga lugar sa Pilipinas. Ganoon din pagdating sa localized lockdown,” he said.
This recommendation stems from the fact that the incubation period of the novel coronavirus takes 14 days, Nograles said.
He stressed the need for local government units to always keep in touch with the national government in their COVID-19 response measures.
“So nandun naman ‘yung powers ng ating mga local government units, ang ating mga mayors, or mga governors, kapag nagco-community quarantine sila sa component cities, ganu’n din, hindi puwedeng three days, seven days, or two days. Dapat kung maghihigpit ka doon sa isang barangay, dapat 14 days,” he said.
Nograles likewise reminded the public to always practice minimum health standards such as wearing face mask, frequent hand washing, and observing social distancing so as not to contract the deadly virus.
“Whether GCQ (general community quarantine) ka, MGCQ (modified general community quarantine) ka, nandiyan pa rin ‘yung virus. Kaya kailangan laging mag-ingat,” he said./Stacy Ang