Home quarantine guidelines clear since April –DOH clarifies

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The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday clarified that clear home quarantine guidelines have been sent to local government units since April, in reaction to Malacanang’s statement.

The DOH’s statement was in response to Malacañang’s comment that the DOH failed to emphasize the home quarantine requirements of an own room and bathroom for the patient, and the absence of a high-risk housemate.

“Since April 11 mayroon na po tayong inilabas na polisiya galing po dito sa DOH, ‘yung sinabi po na department memorandum na ‘yan. Kasunod niyan, na-supplement pa ‘yan kasi nagkaroon tayo ng joint administrative order with the DILG noong April 15,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a virtual press briefing.

“Talagang sinabi diyan ‘yung conditions natin na hindi ka puwedeng mag-home quarantine if these specific conditions were not met,” she added.

Vergeire said the gap could have occured in the implementation at the local government level.

She said such issues are “inherent in a decentralized system.”

“More often than not, makikita natin ang mga polisiya na ibababa may mga different na pagkakaintindi or interpretations at ito ay nangyayari na dati pa,” Vergeire said.

To prevent such misunderstandings, Vergeire said the DOH attends town hall meetings with the local implementers to carefully explain the health advisories it releases.

Further, Vergeire stressed that the continuing increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country should not be attributed solely to the home quarantine measures that had been subscribed to by many asymptomatic and mild cases.

The government recently launched Oplan Kalinga where asymptomatic and mild COVID-19 cases who cannot do home quarantine will be escorted to government-run isolation facilities.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano said local health authorities and cops will go house-to-house to fetch COVID-19 cases and facilitate their transfer.

Malacañang, on the other hand, said there will be no such search.

Patients not qualified for home quarantine will be escorted only after such have been reported./Stacy Ang

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