Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana. (File photo)

MANILA – Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said he strongly supports proposals made by Interior Secretary Eduardo Año banning home quarantine for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients.

Lorenzana, also chair of the National Task Force Against Covid-19, noted a spike of the infections early this year came from home quarantine.

“(A) large part of the spike in infections recently were from the so-called ‘home quarantined’ people. The main issue of home quarantine is that without the correct facility at home, the quarantine is not properly observed thereby infecting the whole family,” he said in a message to reporters Wednesday night.

However, Lorenzana said they are open to exceptions such as a condition where a patient is in a house containing rooms with its own bathrooms and could be shut from other family members.

“We will make (an) exception. If the home has a separate room with a bathroom and could be closed from the other family members then it will be allowed. The ‘home quarantined’ person shall be regularly checked by the BHERTS (Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams) or the Municipal Health Officer for any signs or symptoms,” he added.

Earlier, Año said the well-off could quarantine themselves in hotels catering to Covid-19 patients.

However, the elderly or senior citizens infected with Covid-19 might be exempted as it is not advisable for them to be taken to isolation facilities.

Año also said this proposal still needs to be approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and will be later implemented through a joint memorandum circular of the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of Health. (with reports from Christopher Lloyd Caliwan/PNA)