The Philippine government wants to enforce a ban on home quarantines, saying that the practice spreads the coronavirus to other members of a household.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, a member of the country’s COVID-19 task force, said today that there are enough isolation facilities that mild or asymptomatic patients can stay in so they could recuperate from the respiratory disease.
“Before, when someone has his own room, his own bathroom and doesn’t have co-morbidities, they can do home quarantine. So what we are really going to do is really strictly implement the no home quarantine [rule]. Because we already have, for example, for the well-to-do, we have COVID hotels where they can self-isolate,” he told CNN Philippines’ The Source in English and Filipino.
“It’s very important that we bring them out of the homes because the entire family gets infected. That is for the sake of family members. Of course, there will still be exemptions,” he said, adding that the elderly can stay inside their homes if they could no longer transfer to isolation facilities.
This the second attempt by the Philippine government to ban home quarantines. Año announced in July that cops would search for mild and asymptomatic patients, take them from their homes, and bring them to isolation facilities, a proposal that drew flak. Año made the questionable suggestion because the Department of Health complained that its isolation facilities were underutilized. Private hospitals also reported that they were suffering from overcrowding due to the deluge of COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms.
Meanwhile, Año reported that the country’s reproductive number has now gone down to 0.94%, but admitted that it was “not enough.”
“We want it to decline further. Our positivity rate is still around 10%. So that has got to go down,” he said.
The reproductive rate is the number of people a patient can possibly infect. A densely populated area, such as Metro Manila, will have a higher R-number than a place with fewer people. Experts have said that an area should ideally have an R-number that is below 1 because anything higher than that will lead to a significant increase in COVID-19 patients.
Meanwhile, the positivity rate is the percentage of people who have positive results out of those who have been tested.
The University of the Philippines OCTA Research Group declared on Sunday that the country is starting to flatten the curve, but warned that it has a long way to go before the number of cases reach a manageable level. The country has the most number of COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia, with 238,727 cases recorded as of yesterday, including 184,906 recoveries and 3,890 deaths.
This article, PH gov’t seeks to ban home quarantine, says it spreads coronavirus within families, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.