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Close contacts refusing to be swabbed warned

BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III

Legal action awaits those who refuse to be swabbed despite being identified as close contacts of Covid-19 positive patients.

The warning came from Dr. Chris Sorongon, deputy for medical and data analysis of the Emergency Operations Center, who reiterated that swabbing is part of the strategy to prevent the further spread of the disease.

Earlier, EOC executive director Em Ang said that she was told by Dr. Rosalie Deocampo, who heads the contact-tracing team of the City Health Office, that about a hundred close contacts of Covid-19 patients have refused to undergo swabbing.

Ang said they believe that the refusal could have been triggered by fear that they will be isolated and prevented from doing their daily activities.

She said that while the EOC understands the plight of those who refuse to be swabbed, this should be done to contain the spread of the disease.

But Sorongon said that the EOC, along with officials of the barangays, will go back to the homes of those who refused to undergo swab testing, and persuade them again.

If they refuse again, he said the EOC will have them blottered and will refer the issue to the City Legal Office for proper disposition.

Meanwhile, CHO officer-in-charge, Dr. Edwin Miraflor, said the EOC discourages home isolation without hospital supervision.

Executive Order 28, issued by Mayor Evelio Leonardia, allows hospital-supervised home isolation for Covid-19 patients, who are asymptomatic, or experiencing mild or moderate symptoms of the virus.

Under the EO, each patient admitted under the hospital-supervised home isolation shall be managed by, or assigned a physician, who shall monitor the patient’s condition, assess, evaluate and/or discharge him or her as appropriate.

Aside from that, Miraflor said, laboratory procedures will also be done even if the patient is under hospital-supervised isolation.

He said hospital-supervised home isolation is in accordance with the guidelines of the Department of Health to decongest hospitals from Covid patients, who have mild to moderate symptoms.

Miraflor said this is not for free and will be shouldered by the patient.*

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