Asymptomatic COVID-19 patients in Tagum allowed ‘home isolation’ due to lack of facilities

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 15 June) – Some coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients in Tagum City have been allowed to undergo “home isolation” for as long as they are “asymptomatic” after the facilities there have been fully occupied brought about by the ongoing surge, Mayor Allan L. Rellon said.

Tagum Mayor Allan L. Rellon. MindaNews file photo by BOBBY TIMONERA

In an interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5), the mayor said the city is struggling with rapidly increasing daily active cases that have overwhelmed both medical and isolation facilities, forcing the government to allow “home isolation” for COVID-19 patients.

As of June 14, the city reported that 673 out of the 2,588 total cases are “active.” Out of this total, 1,815 recovered and 100 died.

The local chief executive expressed alarm that the growth rate of the new daily COVID-19 cases has already surpassed that of the recovery rate with the ongoing surge.

He said those who cannot be accommodated in isolation facilities will be allowed “home isolation” but subject to inspection by health authorities if their residences are suitable for isolation.

“If not ideal, then we will find a way to put them in the isolation facilities,” he added.

Rellon added that local authorities prioritize senior citizens and those with comorbidities in the hospitals.

“We prioritize severe [cases] and those who need oxygen,” he said, adding that private hospitals in his city and medical facilities in neighboring towns are available to accommodate COVID-19 patients from Tagum.

As of 2:06 p.m. Tuesday, DOH-Davao director Annabelle Yumang has yet to respond to queries if the agency approves “home isolation” for asymptomatic active cases.

Rellon said he hopes the vaccination program would help prevent deaths caused by complications due to COVID-19.

“Hopefully, once our immunocompromised and vulnerable sector get vaccinated, they will likely no longer suffer from severe cases. That’s what I fear the most because they need to be confined in the hospitals,” he said.

As of June 13, the Department of Health-Davao reported 481 new cases in the region, bringing the total cases to 33,962, with 6,722 active, 26,008 recoveries, and 1,232 deaths.

Out of this total, Davao City, considered as the epicenter of COVID-19 pandemic in Mindanao, reported 19,996 total cases with 3,477 active, 15,713 recoveries, and 806 deaths. Davao de Oro reported 2,564 cases, Davao del Norte with 6,412, Davao del Sur with 2,476, Davao Occidental with 415, and Davao Oriental with 2,099.

As of June 12, DOH-Davao reported that 153 out of 186 intensive care unit (ICU) beds have been occupied; 406 out of 660 isolation beds have been occupied; 379 out of 668 ward beds have been occupied; and 35 out of 52 mechanical ventilators utilized. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)