DAVAO CITY – Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte maintained that there was no truth to reports that confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the city were being allowed to go on home quarantine.
Duterte was taking exception to a statement made by National Task Force COVID-19 Chief Implementer Sec. Carlito Galvez and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año that the spike in COVID-19 cases in the city could be blamed on the city government’s policy of putting infected patients and their close contacts under home quarantine.
Duterte also blasted the Department of Health (DOH) in Davao Region for not speaking out to correct the “misinformation” on the enforcement of home quarantine in the city.
“May I just clarify that home quarantine was never the direction and policy of the city government of Davao with regard to COVID-19 positive cases. I might not have spoken during the meeting because I was expecting the DOH to say something but they never did,” she added.
Health Undersecretary Abdullah Dumama and DOH-Davao director Annabelle Yumang were present during the CODE Team meeting last Wednesday when Galvez and Ano gave their observation on why the spread of COVID-19 was going unabated in the city.
Duterte and other provincial governors joined the meeting via Zoom.
Duterte clarified that the city government immediately puts positive cases in isolation facilities, which was in accordance with DOH guidelines on how to handle close contacts or the infected patient.
“In regard to the infected patient, these are close contacts that cannot be determined yet if they are positive or not because they have to wait for Day 5 to 7. It’s indicated in the DOH guidelines ‘quarantine.’ It does not indicate if it’s home quarantine of facility quarantine. What is indicated is only ‘quarantine,’” she said.
She said that the city government places the houses of close contacts on lockdown.
“So, what we do is to get the positive and then we put them at the facility and then we lockdown the houses of the positive case, and that is quarantine also. That is home quarantine… We put them there and then we give them a schedule before we test them based on DOH policy,” she said.
As of November 20, Davao City has reported a total of 5,607 cases, Davao de Oro with 415, Davao del Norte with 901, Davao del Sur with 629, Davao Occidental with 113, and Davao Oriental with 405.
The entire region has 2,380 in total active cases, 5,389 recoveries, and 301 deaths.
Out of the 5,607 cases in Davao City, 1,894 are still active, 3,465 are recoveries, and 248 are deaths.