Isolation prevents Covid-19 spread – Expert

15 September 2021 – Local health authorities underscored that the primary purpose why Corona Virus Disease (COVID)) 2019 patients are being compelled to undergo the prescribed 14-day isolation is to prevent them from further spreading the virus in their homes, community and among their acquaintances.

Dr. Ma. Alice Torres, medical officer of the City Health Services Office (CHSO), stated that it is unfair and unfounded for some individuals to claim that health workers are deliberately compelling COVID-19 patients to undergo the required isolation for some other reasons.

Further, she clarified that the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation is not reimbursing to the local government pediatric COVID-19 cases and that the case rates being reimbursed by the State insurance corporation is not even sufficient to pay back the enormous expenses incurred by the city in the maintenance, operation and refurbishment of the existing isolation units in the city.

The medical officer stipulated that the payment being paid to the city by the health insurance corporation amounting to P22,400 per patient for every 14-day isolation that is completed is only sufficient to recover a portion of the city government’s investment in setting up the isolation centers, thus, there is no basis for some individuals to conclude that compelling COVID-19 patients to undergo the required isolation based on protocols that had been promulgated by the health department is for the health and safety of everyone and not for any other reason.

According to her, health workers are doing their best to ensure that COVID-19 patients required to undergo isolation will be safe and will recover from the infection conveniently and that they do not deserve such unnecessary remarks from individuals who are not aware of the ongoing operations of the isolation centers.

Torres pointed out that the management and operation of the isolation centers conform with the protocols promulgated by the inter-agency task force for the management of emerging infectious diseases and the health department and that the city government does not intend to deviate from these thus the negative perception against the city’s isolation centers being circulated by some individuals are without basis.

At present, the city government manages and operates the Baguio City Community Isolation Unit based at the former Sto. Nin֮o hospital and a number of isolation centers based at the Baguio Teachers Camp, the city’s central triage at the Baguio convection Center, the Laurel dormitory and the Ferioni apartment.

Moreover, the city is also coordinating with the Cordillera office of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD-CAR) for the resumption of the operation of the Eurotel as an added isolation center under the national government’s Oplan Kalinga to help increase the number of isolation beds in response to the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases triggered by the Delta variant which is now prevalent in the city. – Dexter A. See