The Department of Health Western Visayas Center for Health Development has issued stricter isolation guidelines on the implementation of necessary response for cases positive of Delta variant.
The health bureau said that per the latest recommendations of the members of the Inter-agency Task Force on COVID-19 variants and in line with the Department Memorandum 2021-0128 or the Interim Guidelines on Routine Bio-surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 and Management of Cases with Identified Variants of Concern, cases positive for the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant should have a negative PCR on or after the end of their isolation before they can be tagged as recovered.
DOH said this is regardless if they have completed the 10-day isolation period.
For patients who have been released from isolation before the detection of the Delta variant, the health department said a patient shall be required to undergo immediate strict home quarantine pending a negative repeat PCR test.
Any case whose repeat PCR was positive shall remain in isolation, it stressed. If repeat PCR was negative and the case remained asymptomatic, the patient can be released from isolation/ quarantine.
As for the identified first generation close contacts, they shall undergo 14-day facility-based quarantine and must be swabbed before discharge, with day one of the quarantine being the date of last exposure.
If the sample will test positive on PCR and fit the criteria for sequencing, the health department said the sample shall be sent to the University of the Philippines-Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC) for genome sequencing. The positive case shall then be isolated.
The DOH also said that second and third generation contacts shall also be placed in strict home quarantine and can only be released once the first generation contacts have completed the 14-day quarantine and tested negative on PCR upon discharge.
Hoeever, if their first generation contacts returned with positive PCR, these contacts shall also be required to undergo a repeat PCR test at the end of the 14-day facility quarantine completion and shall only be discharged if test was negative and the patient remained asymptomatic.
A separate facilities for positive Delta cases and for their close contacts was also recommended by the DOH.