Duque takes responsibility over compensation mess

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 5, 2020   •   735

Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III said he is taking the responsibility for the delayed compensation for health workers hit by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In a tweet, the Duque said it is still his responsibility as the secretary of health to make sure compensations are properly distributed.

The Health Secretary initially put the blame of delayed compensation for the COVID-19 hit health workers on his subordinates, during his talk with President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday morning (June 5).

“Nakakahiya talaga sir, namatayan na nga, nagpawardi-wardi iyong mga tao ko na parang walang sense of urgency. Ang sama-sama po ng loob ko Mr. President (It is a shame, sir, that people are dying and yet my subordinates were dilly-dallying as if they have no sense of urgency. I am really disappointed, Mr. President),” he said.

The DOH already released a joint administrative order to implement the provision of the Bayanihan Law to provide P100,000 benefits to health workers who were badly hit by COVID-19, while P1 million will be given to the families of health workers who already passed away due to the virus.

Duterte has given the DOH until June 9 to provide the financial assistance to the health workers hit with COVID-19. AAC (with report from Aiko Miguel)

Pagpapababa sa presyo ng RT-PCR test pinag-aaralan ng DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   January 14, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Pinag-aaralan na ng Department of Health (DOH) kung maaaring mapababa ang presyo ng RT-PCR o swab test sa gitna ng lumulobong kaso ng COVID-19 sa bansa.

Ang hakbang ay kasunod na rin ng reklamo sa mataas na presyo ng test at dami ng mga nagpapasuri.

Ayon kay DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III, inaalam na nila ang paraan kung paano mapapamura ang presyo ng swab test upang hindi gaanong mabigatan ang bulsa ng mga Pilipino.

Noong Setyembre 2021, sinabi ng DOH na dapat ay naglalaro lang sa P2,000 hanggang P3,000 ang presyo ng RT-PCR test sa mga pampubliko at pribadong laboratoryo.

Mula ito sa dating presyo na P3,000 hanggang P5,000.

DOH updates isolation, quarantine times for COVID-19 cases, close contacts

Robie de Guzman   •   January 13, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) has disclosed that the protocols for the isolation and quarantine durations for confirmed cases of COVID-19 and close contacts have been updated amid the rapidly rising number of infections in the country.

During a Zoom presentation published on Wednesday, DOH Spokesperson, Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the isolation period for fully vaccinated persons with mild COVID-19 will now be shortened from 10 days to seven days from onset of symptoms.

For fully vaccinated asymptomatic cases, the isolation period will be seven days from their positive RT-PCR test result.

“Ten days isolation is retained for those that are partially or unvaccinated, and those with moderate symptoms regardless of vaccination status,” Vergeire said.

“Meanwhile, the isolation period has been retained to 21 days for those with severe and critical disease, and those immunocompromised as outlined by the living CTG panel,” she added.

Vergeire said that for fully vaccinated health workers with boosters, their isolation duration can be shortened to five days by hospital infection prevention and control committee and/or provincial health offices upon careful assessment of benefits and risk.

“They shall also be expanded to other sectors with strict industry standards on IPC subject with IATF approval,” she added.

The quarantine period for fully vaccinated asymptomatic close contacts, Vergeire said, will be shortened to five days from the previous seven days.

“For the quarantine of asymptomatic close contacts for the general public, policies are to be from seven days, we shortened it to five days for those who are fully vaccinated, and we retained 14 days for partially or unvaccinated individuals,” Vergeire said.

“All individuals should also be reminded to continue monitoring their symptoms, wear their mask, and implement minimum public health standards for 14 days,” she added.

The quarantine period for fully vaccinated health workers will be cut short to five days while those with boosters may no longer undergo quarantine period

A note on the slide showing the update quarantine period stated that this is still subject to IATF approval/DOH guidelines.

The DOH said isolation is for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 while quarantine is for those who have been exposed and can possibly develop infection.

Vergeire also said that the testing of asymptomatic close contacts would not be required unless they developed symptoms.

“For healthcare workers that are considered asymptomatic close contacts, for the sake of uniformity, they will follow the five days quarantine similar to the general public, provided, they are fully vaccinated,” she said.

The DOH would also retain that the hospital prevention and control committees could further shorten the healthcare workers’ quarantine with boosters depending on the situations, risks, and benefits, she added.

During the presentation, Vergeire said the update in the DOH guidelines was “deemed necessary” because “the differences in guidelines for quarantine and isolation of travelers, the general public, and specific sectors like healthcare workers had been causing confusion on the ground.”

She also said that amid the continuous rise in the number of cases, most of these remain asymptomatic and mild, which showed the effectiveness of the vaccines against severe COVID-19.

Patients who contracted the Omicron variant also showed milder symptoms that those that caught the Delta variant.

“The prolonged quarantine and isolation duration has been causing strain to our healthcare system and our economy,” Vergeire said.

“Our experts believed that specifically in the Omicron variant the benefits of shortening the quarantine outweighs the risk,” she added.

Vergeire also noted that other countries were also updating their protocols on quarantine and isolation periods.

“While the US CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) is the most aggressive example by bringing down their isolation and quarantine periods to five days, we also see other countries moving down from 14 days to 10 days,” she said.

“The updated policy of the Philippines attempts to find acceptable standards give our current context and allow more flexibility to groups and sectors that can strictly implement infection, prevention, and control procedures,” she added.

Vergeire said the updated policy will be issued in the next few days after it has been presented to and approved by the IATF.

ALAMIN: Mga dapat gawin kapag nakararanas ng sintomas ng COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   January 7, 2022

Nauuso ngayon ang trangkaso, ubo, sipon, at lagnat dahil sa malamig na panahon.

Ang mga karamdamang ito ay kahalintulad ng mga sintomas ng COVID-19 kaya maraming Pilipino ang nababahala at nagkukumahog na bumili ng gamot at magpa-swab para malaman kung dinapuan ba sila ng naturang sakit.

Kung nakararanas ng trangkaso at iba pang flu-like symptoms, payo ni Epidemiologist at Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Eric Tayag na agad mag-isolate, bumukod ng lugar sa loob ng bahay o kaya ay sa isang kuwarto na may sariling palikuran, at magsuot ng face mask.

Alamin rin kung sinu-sino ang mga nakasalamuha sa nakalipas na tatlo hanggang pitong araw upang malaman kung sino ang inyong naging close contacts.

“Para malaman po ung may COVID o hindi, una kung mayroon po kayong exposure sa isang kumpirmadong kaso, malamang sa hindi yung nararamdaman n’yo po ay COVID,” ani Tayag.

“Ngayon kailan kayo magpapa-test? Ang nirerekomenda po, tatlo hanggang pitong araw matapos kayong ma-expose o kaya kung mayroon kayong sintomas, agad-agad kayo pong magpapa-test,” dagdag pa niya.

Sakaling maubusan ng gamot gaya ng paracetamol habang naka-isolate, payo ni Tayag na uminom ng maraming tubig at vitamins, kumain ng maraming prutas at gulay, at palakasin ng pangangatawan sa pamamagitan ng pagkakaroon ng sapat na tulog.

Mas makabubuti ring magsuot ng face mask ang iba pang kasama sa bahay at ugaliing mag-disinfect upang maiwasan ang hawaan.

Maaari ding tumawag sa hotline ng DOH na 1555 para sa libreng konsultasyon nang malaman ang mga dapat gawin at mga gamut na kailangang inumin para sa karamdaman.

Payo rin ng DOH na makipag-ugnayan sa Barangay Heath and Response Team upang maipaalam ang kondisyon ng pasyenteng naka-home quarantine.

“Kung lumabas na yung resulta ng test po ninyo, kung negative, itutuloy n’yo pa rin yung quarantine. Kung isa kayo sa nahawa or kung ‘yun po ay negative subalit may sintomas po kayo ay hintayin nyo po yung abiso sa barangay kung kailangan pa kayong mag-isolate sapagkat yung test naman ay negative,” ani Tayag.

“Kung positive po iyon, mananatili po kayong naka-isolate,” dagdag pa niya.

Sa tanong naman kung kailan dapat dalhin sa ospital ang isang pasyenteng naka-home quarantine, sinabi ni Tayag na dapat makipag-ugnayan sa DOH hotline 1 at ipaalam ang kalagayan ng pasyente lalo na kung ito ay bata, senior citizen o may comorbidity.

Dapat ring bantayang mabuti ang oxygen level ng pasyente sa pamamagitan ng oximeter device.

“Sa mga bata, kung may lagnat po ‘yan at kinukumbolsyon, ay kailangan pong dalhin sa ospital. Sa matatanda, kung hirap sa paghinga, hindi na tuloy-tuloy ang pagsasalita nila talagang kinakapos ng hininga, hindi na magandang palatandaan yan,” ani Tayag.

“’Yung mga maselan po ang katawan ng tinamaan, halimbawa yung may diabetes, may sakit sa puso, sobra na ang katandaan… malamang sa hindi baka dapat dalhin kayo sa ospital kahit umpisa pal ang yan ng ubo kasi yung pneumonia sa matatanda, iba ang presentation,” dagdag pa niya.

Muli nang papayagan ang home care o self-isolation ng mga pasyenteng nakararanas ng mild symptoms o kaya ay walang ipinapakitang sintomas ng COVID-19 dahil sa dami ng mga nagkakasakit nito ngayon.

Ayon kay acting presidential spokesperson at Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, nagkasunod na ang Inter-Agency Task Force na payagan itong muli upang mabawasan rin ang bilang ng mga pasyenteng magtutungo sa ospital lalo na ngayong full capacity na ang COVID ward ng ilang pagamutan sa Metro Manila.

“We hope to be able to encourage more people na pag mild at asymptomatic, pag conducive ‘yung homes, or home isolation mag-isolate na lang po sa bahay at gagamit nalang po ng telemedicine,” ani Nograles.

Maglalabas ng guidelines ang IATF para sa home care isolation upang magkaroon ng gabay ang mga Pilipino sa tamang pangangalaga sa sarili kapag nagpositibo sa COVID-19.

Ayon naman sa DOH, maaari lamang mag-home quarantine kung may sariling kuwarto at lahat ng miyembro ng pamilya ay close contacts.

Kung asymptomatic o kaya ay mild lang ang sintomas, maaaring mag-quarantine sa loob ng 10 araw depende sa payo ng duktor. Ang mga kritikal naman ang kondisyon ay pinapayuhang mag-isolate sa loob ng 21 araw.

(mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Janice Ingente)

REACH US

The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel)

info@untv-newsandrescue.com (General inquiries)

ABOUT UNTV

UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.