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Flawed quarantine clearances sent 4 to RAT, home isolation

NAGA CITY --- Four family members from Lagonoy town in Camarines were ordered to undergo swab test and home quarantine by the Naga City Health Emergency Response Task Force’s (HERTF) documentation and evaluation team after a discrepancy in the management of their 14-day quarantine period was discovered.

Dr. Vito Borja, Naga City’s HERTF chief, tries one of the 10 foot pedal alcohol dispensers donated by the Ateneo de Naga University. The dispensers which are now installed at the different areas of Naga City Hall, come as a big boost to the city’s hand sanitizing campaign.

The family, composed of husband and wife and their two children, travelled from Cainta, Rizal to Barangay Sipaco in Lagonoy, Camarines Sur as returning residents last July 22, this year.

An individual quarantine clearance from that municipality certified that the four “had undergone the mandatory 14-day quarantine at Lagonoy Central School, which served as isolation area of LGU-Lagonoy.” The clearance stated that the returning residents have undergone the required quarantine period from July 23 up to Aug. 6, 2020 at the said isolation facility located in Barangay San Isidro Norte, Lagonoy, Camarines Sur.

Renee Absalon Abiada of the HERTF’s documentation and evaluation team assigned at the JMR Coliseum, said his decision to require the family to undergo rapid antibody test (RAT) and 14-day home quarantine in the city was due to inconsistencies in their quarantine clearances issued by Dr. Ramon P. Odiamar, Lagonoy’s municipal health officer and approved by Mayor Delfin Pilapil III. Fortunately, the four tested negative based on their RAT results.

“How come that these returning residents were able to secure clearances from that municipality, certifying that they completed their quarantine period on August 6 this year, when they were in the JMR Coliseum two days before the supposed completion of their quarantine period?” Abiada said.

Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to Covid-19 away from others. It helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows he is sick or if he is infected with the virus without feeling the symptoms.

People under quarantine should separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.

Why 14 days? This is the virus’ incubation period. For those who are infected, it’s generally the time between when they’re first infected and when they start shedding the virus, which may be a little before they start experiencing symptoms.

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