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Valenzuela’s ‘no home quarantine’ policy brought down cases




Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian attributes the drop in coronavirus cases in his city to the policy of isolating all those who test positive at quarantine facilities. / Screengrab from Daily Tribune’s “Straight Talk”

Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian yesterday said he attributes the low number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in his city to the success of the “no home quarantine” policy.

Speaking at “Straight Talk,” the exclusive online forum of Daily Tribune, the mayor said Valenzuela’s active COVID-19 cases is now down to 177 from a high of 1,200 cases at the height of the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in March.

He explained so long as someone tests positive for the virus, he is immediately brought to a quarantine facility for isolation.

“It’s simple. The heart and soul of the isolation effort that the national government lauded is the no home isolation policy, no home quarantine policy,” Gatchalian said.

“From Day 1, we did not allow home quarantine. If you test positive, we will bring you to one of our 14 isolation units. It doesn’t matter if you are economically well off from the rest. Whether you are rich or poor, young or old, you’re carted off to one of our isolation units,” he added.

The Valenzuela mayor said the treatment of COVID patients are all shouldered by the city government.

“Everything in our COVID protocol, from the contact tracing to the testing to the isolation, all of that is free. The LGU takes care of it. We were one of the LGU who have localized mass testing, and it’s free,” Gatchalian shared.

“You are treated whether you are asymptomatic or only have mild symptoms. All of our isolation units will have 24-hour medical assistance, with doctors and nurses on board to make sure that in the event a patient needs medical assistance, they are there,” he added.

The Department of Health recently acknowledged Valenzuela City for the success of its isolation efforts.

“To be very honest with you, we haven’t been informed about it yet. I only read about it in social media. I first saw it in the Twitter account of (Pasig) Mayor Vico (Sotto). Apparently, Mayor Vico was lauded for their treatment effort, and then he listed down the other LGU, and Valenzuela was on the list for our isolation effort,” Gatchalian said.

The mayor cited the decline in COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila.

“It is not just Valenzuela, but everybody is seeing a rapid decline in active cases. I can’t say that it’s only in Valenzuela. Just like I said, it’s metro-wide. The cities of Metro Manila are intertwined.

What one does has an effect on others,” he added.