The private sector can seek assistance from local government units (LGU) to enable their COVID-19 positive employees get medical attention and isolate them in quarantine facilities, the Department of Health said Monday.
In a statement, Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said if an employee tests positive for COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms aligned with the novel sickness, the company “may get help from the Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTs).”
On Oct. 4, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the LGU and BHERTs are ready to assist especially in terms of having a secure isolation facility.
She added that BHERTs work closely with the Local Epidemiology and Surveillance Units and Contact Tracing Teams in finding confirmed COVID-19 patients.
“They also work together with the Barangay Disiplina Brigade in implementing minimum public health standards in the barangays and promote awareness of the virus,” Vergeire said.
Vergeire’s call for LGU and private sector collaboration in aiding employees through BHERTs was made during the ‘’Survivors Speak‘’ virtual presser interview of a COVID-19 survivor, Roderic “Eric” Limon, 42, a safety officer who was quarantined in a makeshift room in a construction site and experienced below optimal isolation conditions.
The DoH said Eric tested positive for COVID-19 in mid-July.
Although asymptomatic, the Health department said Eric and his workmates in construction acted right away to designate an area in the site where he can quarantine, as well as a make-shift bathroom which only he used to prevent further transmission.
With proper physical distancing and observance of other minimum health standards, his workmates helped him get the food supplies and essentials he needed, added DoH.
Amid the below-optimal condition of his isolation area, Eric said his strong will enabled him to recover from COVID-19. This is aside from keeping communication lines open with his friends.
According to DoH, Eric is now back in Ilocos Sur where his family lives.
Vergeire said BHERTs are a reliable first line of support in the local communities.
She added that these LGU-based teams visit houses to proactively find cases and facilitate the transfer of residents in the barangays and villages to temporary treatment and monitoring facilities for isolation if they show COVID-19 symptoms.
“Our BHERT-friends are ready to act and assist us anytime,” she said.
“But let us also help them and our communities by following the minimum health standards and to also isolate when we have the symptoms. We will surely surpass this pandemic if we help each other,” added Vergeire.