Only health workers allowed shorter quarantines: Palace

Only healthcare workers employed in hospitals are allowed to have shorter quarantine and under “extreme circumstances”, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

This, after some airline companies requested to shorten the quarantine and isolation protocols for flight crew.

Based on Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) rules, Acting Presidential Spokesperson, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, said healthcare workers are allowed to follow shorter quarantine and isolation protocols as determined by their respective hospitals’ Infection, Prevention, and Control Committee.

“Ang binigyan lang ng pahintulot ng IATF na shorter quarantine and shorter isolation are (The IATF has only allowed shorter quarantine and shorter isolation for) healthcare workers working in hospitals and it is the hospital’s Infection, Prevention, and Control Committee ang authorized na mag-shorten (that is authorized to shorten them). Anybody else including flight crew must follow these protocols for the general population,” he said in a Palace press briefing.

He said non-healthcare workers must follow quarantine and isolation protocols for the general population.

Currently, Covid-19 positive individuals who are asymptomatic or have mild and moderate symptoms must undergo 10-day isolation or upon the advice of their doctor.

Those who have severe and critical symptoms must undergo 21-day isolation or at the advice of their doctor.

Fully vaccinated individuals who have been exposed to Covid-19 patients have to undergo a 7-day quarantine while those with incomplete vaccination or those unvaccinated must undergo a 14-day quarantine or at the advice of their doctor.

Airline executives earlier requested for shortened quarantine and isolation protocols for the flight crew to address the insufficiency of manpower experienced by local carriers due to flight crew being exposed to Covid-19 positive individuals requiring quarantine.

They said the request is aimed at ensuring that operations of commercial and government flights would not be hampered, especially in the transport of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Sick workers’ right

Meanwhile, Nograles warned that employers who force their Covid-19 positive employees to show up at work may be held liable under labor laws and the Republic Act (RA) No. 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Concern Act.

According to reports, a courier company allegedly required their employees to report for work despite testing positive for Covid-19.

“Labor law violations mayroon na iyan…And as far as IATF is concerned sa mga issuances ng IATF at dahil sa paglabag, kung diumano kung totoo itong nakuha nilang report, kung itong kumpanya na ito, sinumang kumpanya ang lumalabag sa mga resolutions at kautusan ng IATF, maging ang Pangulo, ay paglabag po iyan sa Notifiable Disease Act (That has labor law violations…And as far as the IATF is concerned, if this report is true, if any company violates the resolutions of IATF, even the President, it is a violation of the Notifiable Disease Act),” he said.

The national government has advised individuals who test positive for Covid-19, whether symptomatic or asymptomatic, to isolate.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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