The Department of Health (DOH) is unlikely to prohibit home quarantine for asymptomatic and mild cases of COVID-19 despite the possibility that such measures could have contributed to community transmission of the virus.
According to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, the health department is still studying the existing protocol of home quarantine for asymptomatic and mild cases COVID-19 patients.
“We did not change our protocol. We still allow home quarantine, provided that people who will do the home quarantine can satisfy the conditions,” Vergeire said in a virtual briefing last Friday.
Chief testing czar in the fight against COVID-19 Vince Dizon said in July that a mild and asymptomatic COVID-19 patient should have his or her room, own bathroom and must not be living with an elderly, pregnant, or person with a pre-existing medical condition. Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams should also promptly monitor the patient during his strict home quarantine.
Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., the National Task Force against COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary earlier, claimed that the home quarantine caused the surge in COVID-19 cases for asymptomatic and mild patients.
Vergeire, however, insisted that other factors have caused the increase in cases nationwide.
“We have noted that home quarantine is among those that have contributed. Many are even saying that it contributed greatly, but there are still other factors why we have this community transmission, and not just due to home quarantine,” she said.
Home quarantine for asymptomatic, mild cases continues
According to the DOH report, 45 percent or 9,534 of the 21,031 hospital beds allotted for COVID-19 patients nationwide had been occupied as of September 4, while 50% of the 1,786 intensive care unit beds were also utilized.
49 percent out of 2,739 ward beds and 43 percent of 13,612 isolation beds had been occupied, DOH added.
As of September 6, the country logged 48,803 active cases of COVID-19, with 184,687 recoveries and 3,875 deaths.
Meanwhile, the University of the Philippines professor and OCTA Research Team fellow Dr. Guido David said the Philippines had flattened the COVID-19 curve.
David said in an interview on DZBB that the virus’ reproductive number in the country decreased to around 0.95 from 0.99 last week.