WHO: LGU’s should make better use of COVID-19 isolation centers

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MANILA, Philippines – Local government units should make better use of COVID-19 isolation centers to bring down transmission, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.

WHO representative to the Philippines Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe said that it is riskier for patients to self-quarantine at home.

READ: Philippines sees 836 new COVID-19 cases, 65 more deaths

Without proper barriers, they put loved-ones and other household members at greater risk.

Abeyasinghe said thay they have seen that it is more effective “to isolate these people in so-called isolation and quarantine facilities.”

Department of Health Undersecretary Maria Vergeire said that asymptomatic and mild coronavirus patients can isolate at home.

The DOH advisory came after cabinet secretary Karlo Nograles announced that patients should not undergo home confinement. Nograles is the co-chair of the government’s task force against the novel coronavirus.

She added that when isolating at home, patients should occupy a separate facility. This includes a separate bedroom and bathroom.

Vergeire ssaid that patients are only using a quarter of the 70,000 LGU isolation centers. Moreover, only 38% of 3,193 beds in mega-quarantine are used.

Making better use of COVID-19 isolation centers

The WHO official said in a forum that the government is not effectively using the facilities because “occupation rate in the isolation and quarantine facilities are quite low.”

Previously, the DOH told hospitals to refer mild and asymptomatic patients to isolation centers, instead.

Abeyasinghe described the current proportion of hospital admissions as comprising of a lot of mild cases.

“Many hospitals are still admitting mild patients into the wards and that is why we are advocating for hospitals not to admit mild cases,”

Hospitals also previously announced that they are no longer admitting COVID-19 patients.

At least 11 hospitals have declared that their COVID-19 beds are full. Among the hospitals that joined the list are St. Luke’s Medical Center, Makati Medical Center and Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center.

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