The Pasay City government has instructed bagangay officials and health center personnel to tag or identify COVID-19 recovered patients based on criteria set by the Department of Health to avoid public confusion.
The local government also wants to ensure all recovered patient have actually completed the required 14-day isolation and have not experienced symptoms of the disease in the last three days prior to their discharge from isolation or quarantine.
DOH Memorandum 2020—0258 (Updated Interim Guidelines on Expanded Testing for COVID-19) states the following in its Paragraph No. 9: “Discharge and recovery criteria for suspect, probable, and confirmed COVID-19 cases shall no longer entail repeat testing. Symptomatic patients who have clinically recovered and are no longer symptomatic for at least 3 days and have completed at least 14 days of isolation either at home, temporary treatment and monitoring facility, or hospital, can be tagged as a recovered confirmed case and reintegrated to the community without the need for further testing, provided that a licensed medical doctor clears the patient. Patients who test RT-PCR positive and remain asymptomatic for at least 14 days can discontinue quarantine and tagged as a recovered confirmed case without need for further testing, provided a licensed medical doctor clears the patient.”
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases in its Resolution 60 issued on July 30, 2020 approved the DOH Guidelines and endorsed the same to all local government units.
Pasay City Mayor Imelda Rubiano said the guidelines set by the DOH and approved by the IATF were based on experts’ studies and likewise comply with the instructions from the World Health Organization (WHO).
“We thus enjoin our barangay officials to really see to it that patients undergo the mandatory 14-day isolation and that they have no symptoms before they can be discharged in accordance to this DOH guidelines,” she said.
City Health Office chief Dr. Cesar Encinares said the officials of a barangay with jurisdiction over the patient should make a certification that this patient has completed the required 14-day quarantine and that he/she has not experienced COVID-19 symptoms in the last three days.
A health center doctor may attest to this barangay certification if the said patient requests for such attestation especially for the purpose of travel, he said.