MANILA – Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Wednesday said patients infected with the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) or their families are obliged to report their conditions to prevent the further spread of the disease.
In a message to reporters, Guevarra said pursuant to Republic Act 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act, the government is also mandated to facilitate the transfer of these patients to quarantine facilities.
“On the other hand, it is the duty of the government, for public health reasons, to place the afflicted person in a quarantine facility if there is no adequate isolation area in such person’s home,” he said.
Section 9 of the law prohibits non-cooperation of persons and entities that should report and/or respond to notifiable diseases or health events of public concern as well as those identified as having the notifiable disease.
Violators may be penalized with a fine of PHP20,000 to PHP50,000 and up to six months imprisonment.
He, meanwhile, added that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has not yet considered or tackled a house-to-house search for Covid-19 patients by the police.
“I am not aware of any ‘house-to-house’ search for Covid-19-afflicted persons. We have not discussed this matter in the IATF, nor have I been consulted about it. But there is ample legal basis for transferring Covid-19-infected persons to government quarantine facilities if they are incapable of voluntarily isolating themselves,” Guevarra said.
Authorities have clarified that barangay (village) officials will be in charge of transporting Covid-19 patients into government quarantine facilities to prevent further spread of the disease which may be possible if the patient remains at home. (PNA)