Quarantine hotels will also serve as isolation facilities, says IATF
In a move that will make the quarantine process less tedious for returning overseas Filipinos (ROF), the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has allowed quarantine hotels to function, too, as isolation facilities for those who will test positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
This was announced by Cabinet Secretary and IATF Spokesperson Karlo Nograles in a virtual press conference Friday, Jan. 14.
“Pinayagan na ang rekomendayon ng Department of Tourism (DOT) na ang mga hotel na ginagamit na quarantine facilities ay pupwede na rin magamit bilang isolation facilities subject to specific protocols by the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ), Department of Health (DOH) (The DOT’s recommendation to use quarantine hotels as isolation facilities subject to specific protocols by the BOQ and DOH has been granted),” Nograles said.
The Palace official made the announcement amid complaints from ROFs and overseas Filipino workers (OFW) that the BOQ has been slow in transferring individuals from a quarantine area to an isolation area.
Nograles said that the same hotel or building can now function as both a quarantine area and an isolation facility,
“Kasi yung dati nating protocols, naka-quarantine no, following the protocols for quarantining of international arrival passengers. Pero ‘pag nag-positive [sa COVID-19], nililipat natin mula quarantine to a separate isolation facility (Based on our previous protocols, arriving international passengers need to undergo quarantine. If they turn out positive for COVID-19, wemp transfer them from quarantine to a separate isolation facility),” he noted.
“Mayroon na po tayong panibagong resolution (We now have a new resolution) that allows quarantine hotels to also have isolation floors. Para sa ganun hindi na po palitpat-lipat yung naka-quarantine na ROF or OFW (Now, an ROF or OFW need not transfer back and forth) from one quarantine facility to an isolation facility,” Nograles said.
Nograles is also the acting presidential spokesperson.
President Duterte recently ordered the stepping up of security at all quarantine hotels in the country as a way to discourage cases of quarantine “jumping”.