MANILA, Philippines – A high-ranking Department of Health (DOH) official said patients suspected to have the novel coronavirus would face sanctions should they refuse to undergo quarantine once the Philippines declares a state of public health emergency.
DOH Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said on Monday, March 9, that there would be necessary protocols and sanctions once President Rodrigo Duterte formally makes the declaration.
“‘Yong mga mag-re-resist hong mag-quarantine, wala na silang karapatang mag-resist ngayon. May karampatang sanctions po kapagka ganito. Meron tayong mga protocols,” Vergeire told Dobol B sa News TV aired on GMA News.
(Those who will resist to undergo quarantine, they will have no right to do so. There will be sanctions. There will be protocols follow.)
“Itong (This) state of public health emergency would give the government more authority with regards to this procedure,” she added.
The Philippines now has 10 confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV after the DOH announced late Sunday night, March 8, 4 new additional cases: two Filipinos, a Taiwanese male, and an American male.
The country has also recorded its first local transmission of COVID-19, the disease caused by 2019-nCoV, after a 62-year-old Filipino man with no travel history outside the Phililppines infected his 59-year-old wife. The couple is the country’s 5th and 6th positive cases.
Duterte has already agreed to issue a state of public health emergency due to the coronavirus outbreak, his former special assistant turned Senator Bong Go told reporters on Saturday, March 7. The President is expected to issue an Executive Order formally declaring this on Monday.
The DOH has probed a total of 700 patients for possible infection, 48 of whom remain admitted in health facilities across the country while 646 have already been discharged.
Worldwide, the novel coronavirus has infected more than 109,800 people and killed 3,803, with most deaths still being recorded in Hubei, China, the epicenter of the outbreak. Still, over 60,700 have already recovered from COVID-19. – Rappler.com
by MARA CEPEDA