CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – “Stubborn” COVID-19-positive patients and their close contacts may face charges for not cooperating with the local government unit (LGU) in its pandemic response, the City Health Office (CHO) warned on Wednesday.
Dr. Lorraine Nery, CHO acting head, said the LGU would issue a public advisory a few days from now stating the legal provisions for those uncooperative individuals where they may face charges under Republic Act 11332 or the “Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act”.
Although the law has been in place since the onset of the pandemic, Nery said it is about time to put teeth in enforcing it because the city is placed under modified enhanced community quarantine due to the surge in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.
“There are still some that have a little aggression because they don’t want to be extracted. Ever since, we have experienced these kinds of challenges,” she said, referring to COVID-19 patients and suspected patients, and their close contacts, who refuse to be extracted from their houses going to the city’s patient care centers.
“We would like to remind them that we have a law. We can still actually convince them but it takes a long time. It will be an effort for the part of our team to talk to them,” she said.
Meanwhile, City Mayor Oscar Moreno said the extraction measure is one of the focuses of the LGU as a way to fight emerging COVID-19 cases.
“If we talk about transmission, there is a great risk for those positive cases who are still (doing) home quarantine. Even if they are isolated inside their houses, the chances of transmission are very high,” he said.
Moreno confirmed that there are 231 positive COVID-19 cases under home quarantine, but said they are looking for additional isolation facilities to cater to those cases and their closed contacts.
Nery said there are a total of 24 isolation facilities in the city, composed of 11 city isolation units (CIU) and 13 temporary treatment and monitoring facilities (TTMF), with a total capacity of 1,258 beds.
Based on the latest data of the city government, there are about 1,000 positive patients in the city’s isolation facilities.