MANILA, Philippines—Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Saturday said the National Task Force Against COVID-19 is looking to partner with hotels as potential sites for isolation centers that would encourage people to undergo quarantine outside of their homes.
Lorenzana, who heads the Task Force, was in a public meeting with local officials in Caloocan City and it was there that he batted for the use of hotels as quarantine facilities.
The Task Force is counting on an additional P5-billion fund under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act to pay for the hotels.
“Sa Bayanihan Act 2, meron kaming hinihinging P5 billion para yung isolation centers madagdagan and gagamiting itong mga hotels na ‘di masyadong nagagamit ngayon,” said Lorenzana. “Doon muna ang mga positive cases hangga’t gumaling sila.”
(We’re requesting P5 billion from the Bayanihan Act 2 and that will be used to pay for the hotels that will be used as isolation centers. The positive cases will be staying there until they recover.)
President Rodrigo Duterte needs just to act on the Bayanihan Act 2 after both chambers of the House ratified it late August.
Officials speculate that home quarantine contributes to the rise of COVID-19 cases as patients who experience mild or no symptoms would rather stay at home than be taken to quarantine facilities.
Lorenzana added that some people choose not to report if they’re COVID-19 positive or are experiencing symptoms as they fear they’ll be living far from their families.
“Nakikita naming problema dito sa mga barangay ay yung mga tao mukhang ayaw mag report na sila ay positive or may symptoms man lang kasi ayaw nila mahiwalay sa pamilya nila or mapalayo sa lugar kasi dadalhin sila sa Bulacan, sa Rizal Memorial,” said Lorenzana.
“Ito ang nakikita naming solution na magkaron ng isolation centers malapit sa pamilya nila or di kaya sa hotel na mas kumportable kaya mas maraming mag-volunteer na lalabas.”
(The problem we see in the barangay level is that the people don’t want to report that they’re positive or that they have symptoms because they don’t want to be away from their families or go far from their communities since they’ll be brought to Bulacan or Rizal Memorial. This is one of the solutions that we’re looking at. We can have isolation facilities near their communities or we can use hotels where they are comfortable and that will encourage them to volunteer.)
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