‘Home quarantine tack for Batangas COVID-19 patients leads to spike’ --- Galvez

About 77 percent of the total active cases of COVID-19 in Batangas were subjected under home quarantine which contributed to the spike of infections in the province, an official of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 disclosed Wednesday.

Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) on COVID-19 (NTF AGAINST COVID-19 / MANILA BULLETIN)

NTF chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. cited the report of the provincial health office of Batangas that 2,004 (76.7 percent) of their total 2,612 active cases were still staying in their homes as of September 22.

"Nakikita po natin na karamihan sa mga naka-home quarantine ay hindi po talaga nila ma-i-implement 'yan (We have seen that most of those under home quarantine could not implement )," Galvez said during the visit of the Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) Team with local officials of Batangas at the DREAM Zone in Capitol Compound, Batangas City.

He said most of those isolated in their homes were most likely to violate health protocols, specifically physical distancing.

In some instances, there were asymptomatic cases who spread the disease by engaging in drinking spree or chatting with their family members or neighbors, he noted.

The surge of new infections connected with the practice of home quarantine was also observed in Cebu City, Navotas City, Valenzuela City and Laguna, Galvez shared.

"Once na hindi iyan tinanggal sa bahay, hahawaan niya ang kanyang mga anak, hahawaan niya ang kanyang mga kapatid, lahat ng kaibigan sa community, tindera, at lahat ng pupuntahan niya (Once you do not remove one case from the home, he will infect his child, siblings, all his friends in the community, the vendors, and all of those who will come into contact with him)," the chief implementer stressed.

According to data from the Department of Health, Batangas had the third highest number of newly reported cases (55) in Calabarzon (Region 4A) on September 22, behind Cavite (102) and Rizal (67).

To date, Batangas has a total of 5,988 cases with 3,223 recoveries and 153 deaths. Aside from that, the provincial health office said it was monitoring 12,958 suspected cases and 80 probable cases.

The areas with the highest number of infections were Tanauan City (171); Sto. Tomas City (154); Lipa City (121); Batangas City (113); and the municipality of Calaca (91).

Meanwhile, those who are most affected are in the working age group, or 21 to 30 years old.

Batangas is considered as an industrial hub with many economic zones and power plants established in the province.

Galvez noted that the provincial government cannot afford to stop the operations of its businesses to help its economy bounce back.

As such, Galvez said he was "advocating" the scrapping of the home quarantine policy of the Department of Health (DOH) and bring the infected persons to isolation centers, hotels, and resorts being utilized by the government in the pandemic fight so as to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

"'Yung home quarantine sana po ay tuluyan nating maiwasan. Ito po ang discussion namin kahapon. Magkakaroon po ng directive na we will restrict home quarantine (I hope that we do away with the practice of home quarantine. We discussed this yesterday. There will be a directive that will restrict home quarantine)," he bared.