The Province of Cebu has long implemented the 10-day quarantine period for asymptomatic Covid-19 patients since the Department of Health (DOH) released an advisory on this October last year.
Following the suggestion of Governor Gwendolyn Garcia last year, DOH adjusted the 14-day protocol and issued the advisory on October 21, 2020.
Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) Chief Dr. Christina Giango said the governor referred to the Singapore government’s initiative to reduce the number of quarantine period for asymptomatic patients.
“We started implementing this policy October pa nya nagsugod ni siya pag-suggest ni Gov. Siya gyud naka-una pag-mention ani with DOH nga gi-implement naman gud ni sa Singapore. So nagpagawas og advisory ang DOH og interim guidelines nga once asymptomatic, on the 10th day, i-release na siya as recovered,” Giango said.
Since last year, isolation facilities release Covid-19 patients to their homes if they still don’t show any symptoms after 10 days of quarantine.
Those who show symptoms prior to the lapse of 10 days or will show symptoms on the 10th day will continue their quarantine period up to 14 days.
The patients also don’t need to be tested on the 10th day if they don’t exhibit any symptoms, Giango emphasized.
Moreover, first-generation contacts, or those who have direct contact with a Covid-19 positive patient, will not be required to undergo a swab test if they don’t exhibit any symptoms.
Instead, they will be placed on home quarantine for 10 days.
First-generation contacts who exhibit symptoms will be required for a swab test. If the result is positive, then they will be admitted to a Covid-19 facility.
Giango also shared that the governor suggested to the Department of Health and the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) in Central Visayas about two weeks ago to further shorten the quarantine period to seven days.
This, she said, is to avoid overwhelming health facilities and isolation centers.
Meanwhile, Overseas Filipino Workers and travelers from abroad will be quarantined for five days in hotels designated by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
They will only be swabbed on the 5th day and if the result is negative, they will be turned over to the municipal or city health workers where they will continue their 10-day quarantine period in their homes.
Those who show positive results will be brought directly to the quarantine facilities of their hometowns.
As of February 4, Cebu Province has 493 Covid-19 positive patients in isolation. Of the number, 298 are symptomatic while 195 are asymptomatic. (Vanessa L. Almeda)