DOH preparing isolation facilities for possible monkeypox cases

Published May 26, 2022, 3:00 PM

by Analou de Vera


The Department of Health (DOH) said it is now preparing isolation facilities amid growing concerns about the viral disease called monkeypox.

“The DOH Field Implementation and Coordination Team (FICT) and the One Hospital Command Center (OHCC) are working on the specific designation of isolation facilities,” the state health agency said on Thursday, May 26.

“The priority now is to ensure compliance with requirements. We will be updating the public as the information comes in,” it added.

Citing its guidelines, the DOH said that the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) will serve as the “main isolation facility for suspect, probable, and confirmed monkeypox cases” in the event that Doors 1 and 2 of the DOH’s alert system will be activated.

Door 1 refers to the implementation of “strict border controls for all travelers from other high risk countries and and areas,” while Door 2 refers to the “screening, testing, and quarantine at points of entry,” the DOH said.

“Regional isolation facilities/hospitals catering to other international points of entry shall be designated by the DOH Field Implementation and Coordination Team and One Hospital Command Center,” the DOH said.

Moreover, government hospitals must also prepare isolation facilities to manage potential cases of monkeypox.

“All government hospitals shall prepare an area for isolation and treatment facilities in the event that Doors 3 and 4 are activated,” the DOH said.

“Cases shall be immediately isolated in a private room, preferably with negative air pressure, until signs and symptoms have been resolved,” it added.

The DOH said that Door 3 is strengthening the implementation of the prevent, detect, isolate, treat, reintegrate (PDITR) strategies; while Door 4 is to strengthen the capacity of the healthcare system “to keep it from being overwhelmed.”

As of this writing, no case of monkeypox has been detected yet in the Philippines. Recent cases of monkeypox were detected in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that monkeypox is “transmitted to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal, or with material contaminated with the virus.” Some of its symptoms include fever, rash, and swollen lymph nodes.