14 coronavirus patients in Quezon City staying at home

Rambo Talabong
14 coronavirus patients in Quezon City staying at home

Rappler.com

Three of the 14 patients stay in urban poor communities, increasing the risk of spreading the virus further

MANILA, Philippines – There are 14 coronavirus-positive patients who are staying in their homes for self-isolation, the local government of Quezon City announced in a statement sent to Rappler on Monday, March 13.

“Given this, the local government has intensified its efforts by identifying facilities within which positive patients who do not have the capacity to undergo self-quarantine due to their living conditions will be accommodated,” the government said.

Quezon City has been struggling to contain the virus given its large area and population. It is four times the size of the capital Manila, and it is a city of 3 million people.

Who are the 14? In an earlier interview with Rappler, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said that of the 14, 3 lived in urban poor communities, thus carrying the bigger risk of massively spreading the virus in their smaller households and population-dense communities.

Most of the rest, Belmonte said, were professionals who can self-quarantine and keep their distance from their families and their neighbors. This does not mean that they were told to go home by Quezon City hospitals. They are all just residents of Quezon City.

Why does this matter? The patients were told by different hospitals in Metro Manila to stay at home in an effort of the government to prevent an overload of coronavirus patients. Citing the Department of Health’s Memorandum No. 2020-0108A, the Quezon City local government said they were advised to send people with non-critical symptoms to stay home as to not overwhelm hospitals.

In response to the expected rise of cases, the Quezon City local government has begun searching for alternate facilities to isolate coronavirus-positive patients and persons under investigation. They have already scouted one, said Mayor Belmonte. Those at home, meanwhile, will be “strictly monitored” by local health officials. – Rappler.com

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.