BACOLOD CITY – At least 10 people who tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and refused isolation could be charged by the city government.
Executive Assistant Ernesto Pineda, head of Emergency Operations Center-Task Force (EOC-TF) Extraction Team, said on Thursday they already submitted blotter reports involving these people before the City Legal Office (CLO).
“It’s up to the CLO to determine what charges will be filed against them,” he said in a radio interview.
The individuals involved were from various barangays and were reported to the police by the extraction team and barangay personnel for their refusal to leave their homes even after being infected by the virus.
Pineda said they declined to be brought to the isolation facility because they feel comfortable staying at home while recovering from the illness, but they are told that if they continue to stay with their family, the infection will spread to other members of the household.
Earlier this month, Pineda raised the concern during the virtual meeting of the EOC-TF members.
Section 9 of the Republic Act 11332, otherwise known as the “Law on Reporting of Communicable Diseases” could be used as the basis in addressing instances when the patient refuses to cooperate.
It refers to the non-cooperation of the person or entities identified as having the notifiable disease or health events of public concern.
Under the law, when an individual refuses to be placed in isolation in case of infection, he or she may be liable for non-cooperation, Pineda said.
Through RA 11332, the government aims to ensure that proper procedures are in place to promptly respond to reports of notifiable diseases and events of public health concern, including case investigations, treatment, and control and containment, including follow-up activities.
As of June 17, Bacolod has a total of 11,697 COVID-19 cases, including 2,037 active cases; 9,367 recoveries; and 293 deaths, records of the Department of Health-Western Visayas showed.