The Quezon City government on Friday, Jan.14, laid down home isolation rules for all suspect, probable, and confirmed COVID-19 cases, who are asymptomatic or with mild symptoms such as sore throat, fever, cough, and colds.
After the surge in active COVID-19 cases, the city government released the Memorandum No. 04-22 or Guidelines for Community Case Management for COVID-19 Program.
“It has been reported to us that the majority of recent cases of COVID-19 are either asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms. These cases usually recover with minimal intervention and may be managed at home under proper medical guidance and monitoring,” Mayor Joy Belmonte said.
She said close contacts who are exposed to suspect, probable and confirmed COVID-19 cases, and are asymptomatic or with mild symptoms, are also required to monitor their health while under home quarantine.
While suspect, probable or confirmed COVID-19 cases that are elderly and with comorbidities, pregnant, children, and unvaccinated individuals, or those who have moderate or severe symptoms will be prioritized for transfer to city-owned hospitals or HOPE Community Care Facilities.
The guidelines specify that individuals placed under home quarantine shall be issued a home quarantine order by the Quezon City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (QCESU) and will be automatically enrolled in the Community Case Management for COVID-19 Program and given a homecare package.
The package consists of a homecare Kit, hygiene kit, home care instructions handbook, daily monitoring, and food assistance.
“Through these kits, our affected citizens will have one less thing to worry about. They can refocus their energies on their recovery and on making sure that the people around them are safe from the virus,” Belmonte said.
Non-confirmed COVID-19 patients will be given a basic homecare kit containing a thermometer, face masks, paracetamol, lagundi tablets, ascorbic acid, and a home care instructions handbook.
COVID-19 positive patients will receive their homecare kit which consists of alcohol, oral rehydration salts, pulse oximeter, vitamins, and medicines for adults and children, in addition to all the items included in the basic homecare kit.
The city mayor said that the homecare instructions handbook, also included in the homecare package, entitled “Gabay sa Pagtugon sa COVID-19 Para sa QCitizens”, provides basic information and reminders for those in home isolation or quarantine, including a temperature and home monitoring log, as well as contact numbers of the barangays, healthcare facilities, and emergency hotline numbers.
The city government will monitor individuals enrolled in the program on a daily basis either through teleconsultation through BantAI COVID, the health centers, and city-owned hospitals, or through community visits and rounds conducted by the Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTs).
Food assistance and other household supplies will also be provided to those under home quarantine or isolation.
The guidelines comply with the recommended duration of home isolation or quarantine as specified in the Department of Health Department Circular No. 2022-0002.
Individuals who tested positive but are asymptomatic or experience mild symptoms will be discharged and end isolation after at least 10 days from the date of testing and must have had no symptoms for the last three days, regardless of their vaccination status.
Close contacts who are fully vaccinated and are asymptomatic or experiencing mild symptoms are required to complete a minimum of seven days isolation from the day of exposure; while partially vaccinated or unvaccinated contacts must complete not less than 14 days of isolation.
The guidelines state that the houses of that in-home isolation or quarantine will be treated as Granular Lockdowns or Special Concern Lockdown areas. Therefore, individuals who are under home quarantine are warned against leaving their homes earlier than prescribed.