Friday, June 26, 2020

Low Covid-19 cases in AFP due to strict medical protocols

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 26, 2020): Low Covid-19 cases in AFP due to strict medical protocols (By Priam Nepomuceno)

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The strict adherence to the 14-day rotation rule and rigid medical examination for troops are the reasons for the minimal number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases among military front-liners deployed in community quarantine assistance stations (CQASs), the Armed Forces of Philippines (AFP) said Friday.

In an interview with the Philippine News Agency, AFP public affairs office chief, Navy Capt. Jonathan Zata, said the troops deployed in quarantine duties, upon completing their 14-day tour-of-duty and upon relief by another section, will be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine where they are checked for every possible symptom of the disease.

"Their quarters while undergoing quarantine are spacious and provide enough space for them to practice social (physical) distancing," Zata said in Filipino.

Also, these troops are subjected to strict medical examinations and rapid tests to ensure that they are not infected with Covid-19.

"Should any of them cough or show (symptoms related to the Covid-19), they will be immediately checked," he said.

As an additional safety measure, Zata said those suspected to be infected with Covid-19 will be brought to another quarantine area where a confirmatory test is done by AFP medical personnel.

"Only those who are cleared by our medical personnel are redeployed. Random medical check-up and monitoring are likewise done by our medical personnel to all AFP personnel deployed in the different CQASs," he added.

Since the start of the enhanced community quarantine in mid-March until June 25, only six tested positive for Covid-19 from the 1,000 Joint Task Force-National Capital Region (JTF-NCR) personnel deployed in 16 CQASs.

Meanwhile, only two out of the six Covid-19 cases remain at a military hospital.

Those who were earlier tested positive have since recovered after undergoing medical management procedures, including the mandatory 14-day quarantine period, Zata said.

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