Quezon City encourages constituents to self-report COVID-19 cases

The Quezon City government is encouraging its constituents and even employees living or working in the city to self-report any probable or confirmed cases of coronavirus disease  (COVID-19) in their area.

(Photo by Ted ALJIBE / AFP)

In a memorandum issued Friday, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said speed is of utmost importance in contact tracing to contain Covid-19.

The Quezon City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU) sometimes learn of a person’s positive COVID-19 test long after the test result was released.

This is due to a variety of reasons such as getting tested outside of the city, limitations of COVID-19 information system, or the lack of encoders in hospitals or laboratories.

Belmonte said reporting COVID-19 cases to the CESU or even to their Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERT) will enable the city government to respond and immediately conduct contact tracing.

She said residents who self-report should not worry as this will be kept confidential.

“All information submitted during self-reporting is automatically covered by the Data Privacy Act (Republic Act 10173). This means that all information will neither be disclosed to your neighbors nor the public. The information shall be used only for contact tracing and Covid-19 prevention purposes," the memorandum said.

After self-reporting, home isolation should continue and await further instructions from CESU and BHERT.

In addition, those who will be caught discriminating, shaming, harassing, humiliating or exposing on social media any person infected with COVID-19 may be charged and imprisoned for up to six months and/or fined in the amount of P5,000 as imposed by Quezon City Ordinance No. SP-2911, S-2020.

The memo also states that self-reporting will help authorities assist properly the patient, and help their family and friends avoid the disease.

“Self-reporting also helps you personally. When you get in touch with us, we can provide additional medical advice and assistance. If you are unable to accomplish home quarantine, we will help you find suitable accommodations free of charge, with skilled health care workers in our HOPE community quarantine facilities,” it said.

Most importantly, Belmonte said this will help the local government trace and identify potential sources of new infection and limit their spread.

Those who will self-report may get in touch with the CESU or BHERT by sending an email to qcselfreport@gmail.com, message the Facebook page of Quezon City Epidemiology & Disease Surveillance (www.facebook.com/QCEpidemiologyDiseaseSurveillance) or any of the four QC ESU Facebook accounts which are used for contact tracing (facebook.com/qc.esu.officialfacebook.com/qc.esu.official1facebook.com/qc.esu.official2, and facebook.com/qc.esu.official3), or call the CESU hotline numbers (landline: 8703-2759, 8703-4398; Globe: 0916-122-8628, Smart: 0908-639-8086, Sun: 0931-095-7737).