Opt for home isolation, DILG tells patients with mild symptoms

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año has urged people with mild symptoms of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) to opt for home quarantine and treatment to help prevent the country’s health care system from being overwhelmed.

“Katulad nga ng sinabi na kung mayroon isang nahawaan, more or less ay buong pamilya na po. Kaya magho-house lockdown tayo. At mayroon naman tayong enough medical personnel din. Sa atin naman pong isolation and treatment, ang atin mga quarantine facilities ay naka-ready na rin po ang isolation facilities. At hinihikayat natin na talagang ‘yung mga severe lamang ang i-reserve natin sa mga hospital at kung maaari, dahil naman po mild naman ‘yung mga symptoms ay pupuwede na home quarantine at home care na lang (If someone is infected, more or less the whole family would also be infected. Let’s do a house lockdown. We have enough medical personnel. As for isolation and treatment, our quarantine facilities are ready with isolation facilities. We encourage that they be reserved for the severe cases. Those with mild symptoms could opt for home quarantine and home care),” he told President Rodrigo Duterte during the latter’s taped public address on Thursday night.

This came as the country continues to see a spike in coronavirus infections, logging 17,220 new cases on Thursday.

Año urged the public to refrain from panic buying of medicines for flu-like symptoms, such as paracetamol, saying pharmacies running out of stocks is just an “artificial shortage”.

“May enough medicine po para to treat yung (Covid-19) symptoms. Pero ‘yung iba kasi ay nag-i-stock na sa bahay, kaya po nagkakaroon ng panic at ang pagtingin po ay parang nagkakaroon ng shortage (We have enough medicine to treat [Covid-19] symptoms. However, some people stock these medicines at home, causing panic and the perception that there is a shortage),’’ he explained.

He noted that to combat the virus surge, the government has set up the “Prevent, Detect, Isolate, Treat and Reintegrate + Vaccine Strategy” where confirmed Covid-19 patients could be treated within 24 hours.

Año said 81,305 contact tracers are on stand-by while 38,700 barangay health emergency response teams were established alongside 284,205 medical personnel and 68,332 support staff.

On isolation and treatment, 30,136 quarantine facilities and 6,981 isolation facilities with 65,204 isolation bed capacities are ready to accommodate Covid-19 patients, he said.

Año said the government has stepped up its fight against the surge with the implementation of the house-to-house vaccination program that targets specific individuals in the priority groups.

He encouraged the public to support the national vaccination program by convincing unvaccinated family members to get the Covid-19 jab.

Pointing specifically to those under the A2 (senior citizens) and A3 categories (persons with co-morbidities), he said the public may reach out to their respective local government units (LGUs) for their house-to-house vaccination service.

Año also called on businesses and private companies to strictly enforce health protocols and provide their personnel with the necessary support as the country is hard-pressed to fight the surge in Omicron variant infections.

He pointed out that the first to be affected by the surge are the workforce, companies, business establishments, hospitals, and government service personnel.

Amid the rising Covid-19 numbers, Año said Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel have been deployed to complement the LGUs in maintaining law and order as the surge has struck public alarm and panic.

Not spared from the surge

Meanwhile, the PNP recorded an additional 298 new Covid-19 cases among its personnel as of Friday, bringing the total tally of confirmed cases to 42,854.

Of the figure, 850 are active cases.

The number of recoveries remains at 41,879 as there has been no new recoveries while the death toll is still at 125.

Friday’s new cases are slightly higher than Thursday’s 295 new cases.

“We would like to assure the public that all (personnel) deployed in front-line areas are fully vaccinated,” PNP spokesperson, Col. Roderick Alba, said in a Laging Handa briefing.

PNP records also showed that 215,502 personnel (95.63 percent) have been fully vaccinated, while 8,371 (3.71 percent) are waiting for their second dose.

A total of 1,481 PNP personnel (0.66 percent) have yet to get inoculated.

Alba also reported that 29 areas across the country are under granular lockdown – 22 in the National Capital Region, six in Mimaropa, and one in the Cordillera region.

About 40 members of the PNP and 69 force multipliers are working hand in hand to ensure compliance with lockdown and quarantine rules, he added.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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