Isolation prevents COVID-19 spread – expert

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Local health authorities underscored that the primary purpose why Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients are being compelled to undergo the prescribed 14-day isolation is to prevent them from further spreading the virus in their homes, community and among their acquaintances.

Dr. Ma. Alice Torres, Medical Officer Iv of the City Health Services Office (CHSO), stated that it is unfair and unfounded for some individuals to claim that health workers are deliberately compelling COVID-19 patients to undergo for some other reasons because what they are protecting is the health and safety of the people that could be infected by the sick.

Further, she clarified that the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation is not reimbursing to the local government pedia COVID-19 cases and that the case rates being reimbursed by the State insurance corporation is not even sufficient to pay back the enormous expenses incurred by the city in the maintenance, operation and refurbishment of the existing isolation units around the city.

The medical officer stipulated that the payment being paid to the city by the health insurance corporation amounting to P22,400 per patient for every 14-day isolation that is completed is simply sufficient to recover a portion of the local government’s investment in setting up the isolation centers, thus, there is no basis for some individuals to conclude that compelling COVID-19 patients to undergo the required isolation based on protocols that had been promulgated by the health department is for the health and safety of everyone and not for any other reason.

According to her, health workers are doing their best to ensure that COVID-19 patients required to undergo isolation will be safe and will recover from the infection conveniently and that they do not deserve such unnecessary remarks from individuals who are not aware of the ongoing operations of the isolation centers.

Torres pointed out that the management and operation of the isolation centers conform with the protocols that had been promulgated by the inter-agency task force for the management of emerging infectious diseases and the health department and that the local government does not intend to deviate from the same that is why the negative perception against the city’s isolation centers being circulated by some individuals are without basis.

At present, the local government manages and operates the Baguio City Community Isolation Unit which is based at the former Sto. Nin֮o hospital and a number of isolation centers based at the Baguio Teachers Camp, the city’s central triage at the Baguio Convention Center, the Laurel dormitory and the Ferioni apartment.

Moreover, the city is also coordinating with the Cordillera office of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD-CAR) for the resumption of the operation of the Eurotel as an added isolation center under the national government’s Oplan Kalinga to help increase the available isolation beds as part of the city’s preparations for the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases that is triggered by the Delta variant which is now prevalent in the city. By Dexter A. See

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