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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Baguio: Home care programs for COVID-19 patients, proposed

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The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, urged government health agencies and private medical facilities and practitioners to provide home care programs for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) affected persons.

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In a resolution, local legislators stated that the proposed home care program for COVID-affected persons can be offered by government health agencies like the Department of Health (DOH), City health Services office (CHSO), district health centers or by private hospitals and facilities and practitioners who are experts in the said field to allow the patients to recover and get back to the society without being discriminated.

The council noted that there is a rapidly increasing number of COVID-affected persons over the past several weeks because of the emergence of the Omicron variant that might cause a possible shortage in hospital and isolation facilities in the city.

Further, reports showed that many of the COVID-19 patients are allegedly asymptomatic or mild while some of them are said to be close contacts and they can be treated in their homes, provided that, they have adequate facilities to cater to their needs without compromising the health of the other members of their families.

The body pointed out that home isolation and treatment must be supervised by the appropriate health personnel, whether public or private, in a well-rounded home care program crafted for the said purpose to avoid the possible overwhelming of the health facilities and isolation units.

According to the council, the home care program can provide, among others, consultation, physical or virtual means, monitoring, medication, health kits, testing and medical clearances that would greatly help in reducing the burden from the established private and public health facilities and the health personnel.

Earlier, health authorities had been encouraging home isolation for COVID-affected individuals, especially when they display mild symptoms or they are asymptomatic, to prevent the overwhelming health facilities for these to cater to the treatment requirements of severe and critical patients and senior citizens with comorbidities.

Under the established guidelines for home isolation, the residences of COVID-19 patients that are asymptomatic and display mild symptoms should have a separate room and comfort room for the use of individuals during the prescribed isolation period as per the recommendation of the health authorities.

Based on the latest report from the CHSO, many COVID-affected individuals are now undergoing home isolation in their respective homes under the direct supervision of the concerned district health center and the barangay health emergency and response team (BHERTs) to ensure their compliance to their required isolation for them to be able to recover from the deadly virus.

While many of the private and public health facilities and isolation units have reached the critical level in terms of occupancy, a number of the said facilities are not yet overwhelmed unlike in the previous surge triggered by the Delta variant where many of the said facilities exceeded their bed occupancy allocated for COVID-19 patients.

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