Health experts say quarantine should be strictly enforced

Published April 21, 2021, 11:57 PM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

For health experts, quarantine should be strictly enforced to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Dr. Anna Ong-Lim, a member of the DOH’s Technical Advisory Group (TAG), said preferably for 14 days, but at the minimum, at least for 10 days.

“Quarantine should be strictly enforced because whether or not testing is done, as long as quarantine can be imposed then we continue to keep our borders safe,” she said in a meeting with President Duterte on Wednesday, April 21.

“The recommendation that the TAG worked on…was to propose that its more critical to focus on quarantine measures because this will ensure that any entry of variants from travelers can be better controlled. This is really coming from the fact that tests always have a false negative. If we really want to secure our borders, then the only way to go is to implement quarantine strictly,” Ong added.

Infectious disease expert Dr. Edsel Salvaña said it is really essential that we have some sort of control as COVID, especially the variants of concern, have come into the country through returning travelers.

 During the meeting he presented the proposal of the experts one of which is to shorten the quarantine period to 10 days.

“We can shorten the duration of quarantine from 14 days if there are no symptoms to the end of 10 days,” said Salvaña.

“If we are going to test someone who does not have symptoms it should be done on the 7th day,” he added.

Dr. Marissa Alejandria, another member of TAG, said: “The TAG experts we concur that we can relax the 14 days to 10 days without testing as long as they remain asymptomatic and monitoring is strictly implemented.”

“At any period that the traveler or the OFW gets symptoms during that 10 day, then testing should be done,” Alejandria explained.

“That’s the policy that we can adopt taking into consideration

he economic burden, the physical and emotional burden that the 14 day quarantine is imposing,” she added.