BAGUIO CITY – (8 April 2021) – Medical practitioners in a media forum last week explained the procedures for isolation, quarantine, contact tracing, vaccination and other details as to the rise of Covid-19 cases in the city.

Physicians Dr. Nelson Hora and City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU) head Donna Tubera-Panes explained that processes to control the increase of Covid-19 is a concerted effort from all medical personnel including contact tracers, barangay health emergency response teams (BHERTs), emergency medical services (EMS) and others.

According to Dr. Hora, as soon as results for Covid-19 positive patients are known and validated, medical personnel through the triaging system determine which of the cases are critical and would need immediate attention. Patients should then be isolated within three hours while contact tracers from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and other offices, with augmentation from the Philippine National Police (PNP) should have informed patients’ contacts within 24 hours. Asymptomatic and patients with mild symptoms are brought to the city’s isolation facilities after personal effects are provided from their homes, as beddings and daily food and water are provided free.

Patients are monitored regularly by medical personnel, or as needed for any symptoms which may develop, such as, fever, cough, cold, breathing difficulties, headache, sore throat, diarrhea, body pains or any other discomfort. Communication with medical personnel outside of the room are done through text messages, the patients are informed beforehand.

The isolation room should have a separated bath/comfort room, it was known.

Additional food or clothing may be brought to the facility by family members at a given schedule, which shall be inspected and handed over by the guard on duty.   

Patients need to complete the 14 day-quarantine with extension if recommended by the medical personnel in charge, should not leave the premises at any time; and visitors and pets are not allowed for the whole duration of their stay.

Patients however need to maintain cleanliness in their respective rooms, and they should never lock their doors for any emergency situations. The isolation facilities maintained by the city are no-vaping, no-smoking, no alcohol-imbibing areas.

All the procedures are strictly maintained to ensure that no contamination happens within the facility.

Isolation of the patients, as explained by Dr. Tubera-Panes, is done within the probable period of transmission. This is to differentiate it from quarantine, which is done to healthy people but with exposure to sick people, in this case is Covid-19. 

Home isolation could be done in asymptomatic cases where there are no vulnerable individuals in the home, a separate unit with facilities and separate bath/comfort room is available, and the patient is constantly monitoring by health/medical authorities. Minimum health standards should always be practiced, and medical authorities must always be informed of any changes in the patient’s condition. – Julie G. Fianza