Philippine authorities and police will carry out house-to-house searches for COVID-19 patients to prevent wider transmission, a minister said on Tuesday, amid soaring death and infection numbers and some areas returning to a stricter lockdown.
Interior Minister Eduardo Año urged the public to report cases in their neighbourhoods, warning that anyone infected who refused to cooperate faced imprisonment.
The tough approach comes during a week where the Philippines recorded Southeast Asia biggest daily jump in coronavirus deaths and saw hospital occupancy grow sharply, after a tripling of infections since a tough lockdown was eased on June 1 to allow more movement and commerce.
“We don’t want positive patients to stay home in (self) quarantine especially if their homes don’t have the capacity,” Ano told a news conference.
“So what we will do … is to go house-to-house and we will bring the positive cases to our COVID-19 isolation facilities.”