NATIONAL Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. on Monday, November 23, 2020, apologized to Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio for saying that a home quarantine policy was one of the major reasons behind the surge in infections.
Galvez, at the same time, lauded Duterte-Carpio for the aggressive efforts of the City Government to ramp up its health system capacity as part of its coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) response.
He assured that the task force was ready to help strengthen Davao City’s testing, contact tracing, treatment, isolation and recovery capacity.
Galvez issued an apology three days after Duterte-Carpio clarified that the City Government has never allowed home quarantine for coronavirus-positive individuals.
“I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely apologize to Mayor Duterte-Carpio for whatever adverse impact our analysis of the Covid-19 situation in the city may have inadvertently caused on the people of Davao City,” Galvez said in a statement.
“Hearing Mayor Duterte-Carpio categorically declare that home quarantine is not only discouraged but (also) prohibited in Davao City is a concrete indication of the local government’s desire to effectively contain the spread of the disease and bring down the number of cases,” he added.
Duterte-Carpio issued the clarification in reaction to Galvez’s statement during a National Coordinated Operations to Defeat Pandemic (Code) Team meeting on November 18 that Davao City should stop allowing home quarantine.
Galvez made the observation after noting that the temporary treatment and monitoring facilities in Davao City were only 27.7 percent occupied.
He said this meant that many of those infected with Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, were possibly undergoing quarantine in their homes.
“As a matter of national policy, home quarantine is no longer allowed, as this has been identified by recent scientific studies to be among the leading causes of the spike in Covid-19 cases in various parts of the country,” Galvez said.
The government is implementing Oplan Kalinga, which aims to recover coronavirus-positive persons from their homes and transfer them to temporary treatment facilities for isolation and medical treatment.
Davao City has been reverted to general community quarantine (GCQ) until November 20, 2020 because of the continuing increase in coronavirus infections. (Marites Villamor-Ilano/SunStar Philippines)