Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc calls the public anew to stop discriminating patients and their relatives as well as people working on the frontline against COVID-19.
“It (discrimination) is something that is very sensitive but let us try to be very understanding, especially to our frontliners,” Governor Marcos Manotoc appealed during his virtual press conference.
Despite the recognition they receive for their heroic sacrifices, health workers face social stigma, harassment, and denial of service, among others.
Last April 20, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Ilocos Norte passed Provincial Ordinance (PO) No. 22-2020, as amended by PO 30-2020, to penalize residents who violate lockdown protocols, including the prohibition of discriminatory acts against COVID-19 patients, frontliners, and their relatives.
Any form of discrimination is punishable with a fine of Php 5,000.00.
Also, Section 18 of Governor’s Executive Order 87-2020 ensures the safety and welfare of frontliners, stating: “Employees/personnel of the different agencies who serve as frontliners and assist in the implementation of prevention measures of COVID-19 spread shall be given all the benefits provided for by law and shall be protected from all kinds of discrimination.”
“As long as we practice health measures, we would be safe,” Governor Marcos Manotoc ended.
On June 26, the Department of Health announced that they have shifted to a “symptoms-based” approach in following discharge and recovery protocols.
According to the World Health Organization’s new criteria, patients are no longer infectious 10 days after the onset of symptoms and at least three additional days without symptoms.
Thus, patients are no longer required to undergo mandatory repeat tests before they are discharged from a medical facility.—Blessing Angel V. Agliam, PGIN-CMO