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No more home quarantine for Cebu City COVID patients

By Noreen Jazul

Home quarantine will no longer be allowed for COVID-19 positive patients in Cebu City, Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said on Monday.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año (NTF Against COVID-19 / MANILA BULLETIN)

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año

“All positive cases, whether asymptomatic or mild, should be placed in isolation facilities,” Año told DZMM.

About half of the almost 4,000 cases in Cebu City were only home quarantined, according to Año.

“You can’t be assured if those patients are really observing the proper protocols of home quarantine,” Año said.

Año, a member of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), said the task force will be visiting Cebu City anew on Wednesday to identify sites where isolation facilities can be put up.

“It’s very important that we extract the positive [cases] out of the community. Most of the infection [in Cebu City] is because many of our positive patients are undergoing just home quarantine,” the DILG secretary said.

Aside from positive patients only undergoing home quarantine, Año said people’s lack of discipline and complacency have contributed to the sustained community transmission of the virus in the city.

“There are many people violating the quarantine protocols. There was even a fiesta celebration in Basak, San Nicolas, so we are going to file charges against the organizers, the barangay captain, and police officers supervising that particular area,” Año said.

The DILG secretary said people in Cebu City also have a tendency to “keep or hide the fact that they are infected.”

“They will only go to hospitals when it’s too late, when they have severe difficulty in breathing. That is why you can see in some hospitals, patients die in a matter of 48 hours or even before arriving in the ER (emergency room),” he added.

‘New epicenter’

With its infection rate, Cebu City is “more likely” the new epicenter of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country, according to Año.

“It’s the epicenter now. If you compare it with the National Capital Region where we have 17 LGUs (local government units) for the new cases, we have 356 [in NCR], while 131 in Cebu City,” he said.

Last week, special adviser to the National Task Force against COVID-19 Dr. Ted Herbosa also said that Cebu City might be the country’s next hotspot.

Read more: Cebu City might be PH’s next hot spot for coronavirus

Año said the government is stepping up its efforts to contain the virus in Cebu City.

As of yesterday, 32 health workers have been deployed to the city, according to Año. The government is also eyeing to designate Talisay District Hospital as Cebu City’s other COVID hospital.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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