Caloocan eyes quarantine wristbands for COVID-19 patients

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients in Caloocan City may soon be made to wear  quarantine wristbands (Q-band) to ramp up the city’s contact tracing efforts.

This plan was announced by the city government during a meeting with the National Task Force Against COVID-19 Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (NTF CODE) team on Saturday (Sept. 5).

Sikini Labastilla, head of the city government's command center, said the Q-band system is a passive way to keep track of the patients.

It also puts the burden on the patients to report their symptoms and follow quarantine protocols.

The wristband which will be worn by probable and suspect COVID-19 patients is made of durable acrylic with a QR code.  Patients must download the application and scan the code to report their health status and locations.

The application includes a drop-down menu that patients can use to report their symptoms. 

"From the patients' perspective, they have an obligation to sort of report being a public health risk," he told reporters.

The city council will still have to pass an ordinance to include fines for violators before the project is implemented. 

"There's a fine involved if you remove or deface (the Q-band). You're acting against public interest if you do that," Labastilla said. 

The city government is also eyeing to open five more quarantine facilities in the weeks to come in a bid to increase its COVID-19 bed capacity from 410 to 1,056.

As of September 5, Caloocan City has 5,971 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 4,378 recoveries and 184 deaths.