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BAGUIO CITY – City officials requested the City Health Services Office (CHSO) to designate physical activity areas within the Corona Virus Disease (COVID) 2019 isolation facilities in the city for the purpose of improving both the physical and mental health of the mild and asymptomatic patients confined in the said units.
Under Resolution No. 271, series of 2021 signed by Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong, local legislators stated that patients with mild symptoms or those that are asymptomatic should be allowed during the prescribed isolation period to perform physical activities to keep themselves in shape during the 14-day isolation period.
The council pointed out that the proposed physical activities for mild and asymptomatic patients is purposely aimed at keeping them fit and for the betterment of their mental health following alarming reports on the increase in mental health problems among those confined in isolation units and those that are being required to stay at home.
Further, the body made reference to previous studies which showed that in light of the current situation worldwide, there are still benefits of physical activities that may be specifically present during the pandemic such as enhanced immune system function and reduces inflammation that could also translate to the reduction in the severity of infections; improve common chronic conditions like cardiovascular diseases and diabetes that increase the risk for severe COVID-19; great stress management tool by reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression and helps bring cortisol levels imbalance.
According to the council, stress and distress such as during pandemic creates an imbalance in cortisol levels and the same negatively influences immune functions and inflammations that may affect the health condition of certain individuals.
The Baguio Teachers Camp and the Baguio City Community Isolation Unit based at the former Sto. Nin֮o hospital are the two COVID-19 designated isolation facilities in the city that cater to patients who are either asymptomatic or exhibit mild symptoms of the deadly virus.
The body asserted that COVID-19 patients that are confined in the aforesaid isolation facilities should also spend their isolation period with proper physical activities for their faster recovery as the alleged absence of physical activities is reportedly detrimental not only to their physical wellbeing but also to their mental health.
Aside from opening its mental health help line for people encountering mental health issues and concerns, the CHSO is also closely working on the welfare of the COVID-19 patients that are being required to undergo isolation in the various facilities so that they will be provided with utmost care for them to be able to immediately recover from their present health condition.
The council tasked the health authorities to look into the possibility of allowing the mild and asymptomatic patients to be involved in various physical activities within the premises of the established isolation units so that they will be able to have a break from being strictly confined in their isolation beds that could have a significant negative effect to their physical and mental condition once they will be discharged after recovering from their illness.
By Dexter A. See