Policemen will join local government workers in going house to house to search for COVID-19 cases who should not be on home quarantine, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Tuesday.
READ: No eased restrictions in NCR
Año also said local government units must establish contact tracing teams in every barangay as part of response efforts to the coronavirus disease pandemic.
According to the government, mild or asymptomatic COVID-19 patients should not be on home quarantine if they don't meet the three requirements: own room, own bathroom, and absence of vulnerable person in the house.
READ: ’No to home quarantine’
Meanwhile, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has yet to make “final” recommendations on the fate of the nationwide community quarantine after July 15, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
In a virtual press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said members of the IATF-EID would meet on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the possible retention of or changes in the quarantine status in the country.
This developed as Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Tuesday said he would undergo self-quarantine after one of his staff members tested positive for the coronavirus.
Lorenzana said his staff, Col. Rolly Nerona, tested positive for the disease based on the results of the swab test administered on July 10.
Nerona was with him in Jolo and that the latter learned that he was COVID-19 positive upon landing there on Monday, Lorenzana added.
In another development, state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) closed down its office in Vertis North Corporate Center 1 after two personnel were found positive for COVID-19.
The company closed its office for extensive disinfection until July 17 after two persons were confirmed to be positive of COVID-19 and contact tracing is now ongoing.
PSALM president Irene Garcia said all personnel will follow a work-from-home arrangement during the closure. The PSALM office will reopen on July 20.
“We do not want the positive (patients) to be on home quarantine if their homes don't have the capacity to isolate them,” Año said at a press briefing in Taguig City.
“So what we'll do, with the help of our LGUs and the PNP (Philippine National Police), we will go house-to-house and bring the positive cases to our COVID isolation facilities," he added.
Año urged the public to report to authorities if they know someone who is infected with COVID-19 to avoid further transmission of the virus.
“Do not put the lives of our countrymen in danger. We urge everyone that they will heal quicker with 14 days in quarantine, and you'll even get free food," he said.
The government has discouraged home quarantine for mild and asymptomatic COVID-19 cases, saying it is prone to abuse.
For this, the IATF and the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19
started Oplan Kalinga, which aims to escort COVID-19 patients from their houses to government isolation facilities.
At the same press briefing in Taguig City, Vince Dizon, COVID “chief testing czar,” said Oplan Kalinga started on Sunday and Monday in Navotas and Malabon.
He said authorities had escorted around 50 COVID-19 patients from their houses to government facilities. With PNAREAD: Localized lockdowns pushedREAD: NCR lockdown eyed anew
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by Manila Standard. Comments are views by manilastandard.net readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of manilastandard.net. While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with Manila Standard editorial standards, Manila Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.