By Macon Araneta                 

In a recent development, the government is discouraging home quarantine for COVID-19 positive individuals to lessen the risk of infection inside the same household. 

Cabinet Sec. Karlo Nograles related that the government now prefers COVID-19 cases to undergo facility quarantine instead.

“We are now discouraging home quarantine and it should instead be facility quarantine,” said Nograles who also serves as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, 

Nograles said  there’s a bigger chance other household members can contract COVID-19 when a person who tested positive goes home for quarantine, even if he isolates himself.

“So, we’re now shifting na kung mahawa, kahit asymptomatic, mas bibigyan ng priority na doon mag-facility quarantine. Anyway, marami pa naman tayong mga facilities na maka-accommodate ng mga mild cases,” he said.

Earlier, Nograles said the IATF held a virtual meeting with Metro Manila mayors. The IATF told them if they impose a localized quarantine, a few days will not be enough. It has to be two weeks.

“There’s a need for 14 days quarantine. Like what we’re doing at IATF, every 15th and 30th, we’re giving community quarantine level in the different places in the Philippines. This is also the same with regards to localized lockdown,” he said.

This recommendation stems from the fact that the incubation period of the novel coronavirus takes 14 days, Nograles said.

He stressed the need for local government units to always keep in touch with the national government in their COVID-19 response measures.

Nograles likewise reminded the public to always practice minimum health standards such as wearing face mask, frequent hand washing and observing social distancing so as not to contract the deadly virus.

“Whether GCQ (general community quarantine) ka, MGCQ (modified general community quarantine) ka, nandiyan pa rin ‘yung virus. Kaya kailangan laging mag-ingat,” he said.