DOH: Released patients do not need another test if vital signs normal

Bonz Magsambol

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DOH: Released patients do not need another test if vital signs normal

The Department of Health, however, says that the patient will be put under a 14-day home quarantine after release

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday, March 24, said that patients healed of the coronavirus disease or COVID-19 do not need to undergo another test if their vital signs have returned to normal.

“Kapag wala na pong sintomas ang ating COVID-19 positive case, bumalik na rin sa normal ang ilang tests tulad ng CBC at chest X-ray ay maari na po siyang pauwiin, (If a COVID-19 patient doesn’t experience any symptom of the disease anymore and if the CBC and chest X-ray have returned to normal, the patient can be discharged),” said DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire in a press briefing. 

According to Vergeire, the discharged patient, though, would still have to undergo a 14-day home quarantine. A repeat test will be done after this quarantine. 

“Ang pag-uulit po ng test ay isinasagawa lamang pagkatapos sumailim sa 14-day home quarantine ang pasyente pagkatapos siya ma-discharge (A test will only be conducted after the 14-day home quarantine of the patient upon release),” Vergeire added. 

On Sunday, March 22, COVID-19 PH4, Carlo Llanes Navarro, 48, came forward on social media with his journey fighting the virus. (READ: ‘COVID-19 Patient No. 4’ shares a story of strength and faith)

Navarro said he might have been infected with the virus during a recent trip to Japan when in the return flight a co-passenger was severely coughing.


After 14 days of confinement at the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine and St Luke’s Medical Center, Navarro was able to return home.  He, however, was put under a 14-day home quarantine while waiting for the result of his test.  

“My doctor cleared me [that] my pneumonia has improved and I don’t have symptoms anymore. He told me I can go out and take care of myself,” Navarro said in a Rappler Talk interview. 

According to the DOH, a COVID-19 patient will undergo two to 3 tests while in isolation. Navarro was tested 6 times. (WATCH: Rappler Talk: COVID-19 PH4 on battling the coronavirus)

As of Tuesday, the Philippines has 552 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 35 deaths and 20 recoveries. –

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Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler.