Time-based discharge starts for COVID-19 patients in Cebu province
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Observing a time-based discharge policy for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients in Cebu province has started.
Governor Gwendolyn Garcia said she has already asked the permission of Dr. Jaime Bernadas, the regional director of the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7), to already shift to a time-based policy in discharging the COVID-19 patients of the province.
As of Monday, June 8, 2020, Garcia said that some inmates of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) who no longer have symptoms are already included in the 87 total recoveries in the province.
“We are already starting [the time-based discharge. Kining atong mga CPDRC nga inmates, kahibaw man ta kanus-a ni sila gitest and some of hem wala pa nabalik ang ilang mga test. Unya, wala na man gyud intawon ni mga symptoms,” Garcia said.
Under the time-based discharge policy, a patient who is considered clinically well 21 days after the onset of the infection may already be released even without a negative result from a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, which is the current protocol.
The governor said shifting into the time-based discharge policy will also help in maximizing the limited test kits and focusing it to testing symptomatic individuals.
Garcia said Bernadas is set to issue a new set of protocols for the management of the COVID-19 patients that she will adopt in a memorandum that will be relayed to the chiefs of hospitals and the local health officers for implementation.
“Ang i-test ang symptomatic na lang. Dili kay mangita pa tas sakit. Nganong mangita man as mga asymptomatic nga daghan na man kaayo, niingon na mismo ang WHO (World Health Organization), giapil na na og sulti sa DOH [that] there is no clear evidence nga asymptomatic persons can infect?” Garcia added.
(Those who will be tested will only be the symptomatic. Why do we have to look for the disease among the asymptomatic when several entities have said, including the WHO and the DOH, that there is no clear evidence that asymptomatic persons can infect?)
Aside from the shift to a time-based discharge, Garcia said the testing and isolation of close contacts of confirmed cases will also be limited to “first-generation contacts,” or those who live in the same household.
Garcia said the province will also do away from locking down an entire community when there will be positive cases reported.
She said that most of the towns no longer have sufficient funds to support the families who will not be able to go to work when their neighborhood is under a lockdown. /bmjo
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