THE city is now disallowing previous home-isolation measures for COVID-19 positive patients, mandating the vast majority of all confirmed cases to undergo isolation in one of the city’s hospitals or COVID-19 isolation facilities.
Under Memorandum No. 609, Series of 2021, all COVID-19 cases, regardless of whether they are symptomatic or asymptomatic, must be isolated in one of the city’s proper isolation facilities.
Self-isolation at home is only allowed under three cases – when the patient is incapable of self-care and thus requires special facilities or assistance such as in the case of bedridden senior citizens and persons with disabilities; asymptomatic or mild cases who live alone in their home and do not share it with any other persons or have regular contact with other persons; or if the entire household is found positive but mild or asymptomatic.
However, even in said cases, home isolation must first be confirmed and certified by a local health officer who must attest that the home of the patient is found appropriate for isolation purposes.
The memorandum comes as the province’s healthcare utilization rates are steadily increasing under the strain of more and more COVID-19 cases.
The Cordillera Regional Task Force reported at the end of August that Benguet had hit an 84 percent healthcare utilization rate, indicating that the province’s healthcare facilities were slowly getting overloaded and unable to keep up with patient needs.
A week prior, Baguio City reported a 77 percent healthcare utilization rate as well.