I WAS still on board my radio dySS program when I received the information that a Covid 19 patient jumped off from the third floor of a building where Covid patients are confined inside the compound of the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) last Tuesday morning. Upon receiving the information, I immediately instructed our reporter, Guam Logronio, to proceed to the area. In just a matter of minutes, Guam was there at hospital premises. However, he was not able to go near the site of the incident because he was prevented by hospital security guards.
But he was able to interview a janitor who claimed to have witnessed the incident. The janitor just bought food outside the hospital for his breakfast. The janitor told Guam he was assigned in the building where the Covid-19 patients are confined. He was on duty at the time of the incident. He wears personal protective equipment (PPE), though, while on duty.
Just imagine, a janitor who was exposed to Covid-19 patients allowed to roam around. Wearing a PPE is not a guarantee that you will not be infected with the disease. There were many frontliners who wore PPE but still got infected with the disease. Janitors should also be isolated and be restricted like the frontliners. I hope Dr. Gerardo Aquino Jr., VSMMC chief, will look into this matter.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire announced last Thursday that suspect, probable or confirmed cases no longer need to undergo repeat testing for them to be tagged as recovered patients. Under the new guidelines of the Department of Health (DOH), they only need to acquire medical assessment from their physician, stating that they have not shown symptoms of Covid-19 for three days or more, that they completed self-isolation for 14 days for them to be discharged from the hospital or quarantine facility.
This is what I wrote two weeks ago when I stumbled upon an article, quoting the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States. (Saksi column, May 30, 2020 Saturday). Now, the DOH is adopting this protocol. For those who missed that column, here’s a portion of it:
“What does recovered mean? ‘According to experts in the States of Maryland and Virginia regardless of the term used, the same general criteria from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to determine when a coronavirus infection cleared up. These criteria are based on the symptoms that Covid-19 patients experience. It may surprise you, but the CDC guidance does not require patients to be retested to determine if they’ve recovered from a coronavirus infection.
“While some doctors may opt to retest patients after their illness, that is contingent on ample testing supplies. Many areas still lack adequate testing supplies. Instead, the determination of whether a patient has recovered be made based on symptoms.
“The CDC guidelines are: 1) No fever for 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications; 2) Improvement in other symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath; 3) At least seven days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
“Clinicians carry out daily assessments to determine that patient no longer needs to remain in isolation. Even after patients recover, everyone is advised to continue to practice preventive measures, including social distancing, staying at home when you are sick, covering your cough with a tissue or your elbow and frequent hand washing.
“That’s important because epidemiologists still are not entirely certain that once you’ve had coronavirus, you can’t get it again.”
So, dili na ta mag-retest? Dugay man sab ang resulta kay daghan rason ang taga DOH. Mamatay o maayo na lang ang pasyente, wala pay resulta.