Last updated: May 2021

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How can I protect myself from COVID-19?

  • Wear face mask and face shield
  • Sanitize your hands
  • Practice one-meter physical distancing and limit physical interaction
  • Ensure good indoor ventilation and air flow

Who are considered as close contacts in the context of COVID-19?

  • Interacted with a person with COVID-19 within one meter for more than 15 minutes
  • Had direct physical interaction with probable or confirmed COVID-19 case
  • Had interaction with a person with COVID-19 without wearing protective equipment

What should I do if I am a close contact?

Get tested if you are a close contact. Tell your Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERT) that you are a close contact. This is to inform your next steps:

  • COVID-19 Testing
  • Referral to the Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facility (TTMF) or hospital (if needed)

What tests will be used?

  • RT-PCR (gold standard)
  • Antigen (for those specified places with rising cases of COVID-19, wherein RT-PCR tests are lacking)

What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?

Quarantine - period to monitor well-being after being identified as a close contact with a person with COVID-19

Isolation - separating people with symptoms or confirmed COVID-19 cases

I have to isolate myself, what should I do?

  • Continue wearing your face mask to prevent the spread of any virus/disease
  • Disinfect all objects and surfaces that are frequently touched
  • Practice physical distance and stay in your room

How is the home quarantine or isolation being done?

  1. If you have severe or critical symptoms, you will be referred to a hospital
  2. If you are asymptomatic or with mild/moderate symptoms, you may isolate yourself at your home or you may go to a Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facility (TTMF)

You may only isolate yourself at home if:

  • You have a separate room with other members of the family
  • You have a separate bathroom/comfort room in your room
  • You are not living with people who belong to the vulnerable population

If you are allowed to isolate at home, make sure to:

  • Practice one meter physical distancing, wear face mask, and sanitize your hands every time you interact with your family member/s
  • Eat right and drink medicines prescribed by your doctor
  • Disinfect properly your things, wash hands before and after you use them

What should I remember if I am doing home quarantine/isolation?

Ensure to not spread COVID-19 to others!

  • As much as possible, isolate yourself from other people at your home
  • If you need to interact with other people or you need to go outside, wear face mask and practice one meter physical distancing
  • Remind your carers or family members to always wear face mask if they have to interact with you
  • Cover your mouth and nose using tissue when you cough or sneeze and wash your hands afterwards
  • Do not let others use your personal belongings such as towels, bed sheets, plates, and utensils

I want to quarantine/isolate in a Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facility (TTMF), what should I do?

If you choose to go to a TTMF, contact your Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERT) for your referral.

How will the home management of mild or moderate symptoms be done?

If you have fever, you may do the following:

  • Check temperature every four (4) hours; You may drink paracetamol if your temperature reaches above 37.5 degree celsius, every four (4) hours.
  • Take a bath daily if you can and if possible
  • Ensure good ventilation and airflow in your room
  • Do not wear more layers of clothes
  • Drink a lot of water, fresh fruit juices, and mild teas

If you have cough or sore throat, you do the following:

  • Make sure to drink your prescribed medicines
  • Drink a lot of water
  • Keep away from those that can heighten your symptoms such as dust, pollen, perfume, and animal fur

What are the symptoms that you need to watch out for?

  • Difficulty in breathing, even when sitting
  • Cough, fever, and difficulty in breathing
  • Severe coughing
  • Confusion or sudden change in mental well-being
  • Pain in the chest
  • Low oxygen level
  • Excessive sleepiness or cannot be woken up
  • Bluish or darkened face or lips

If you are experiencing other severe symptoms, call your BHERT immediately.

Do I need to finish my 14-day quarantine if I am a close contact that tested negative for COVID-19?

Yes. You need to finish your 14-day quarantine and finish it without developing any symptoms.



  • Isolation period: At least ten (10) days, from the day you received your positive result
  • Where to isolate: Home or in a Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facility (TTMF)
  • Clearance: If you remain not having any symptoms within ten (10) days from the day you got tested
  • Do you need to get re-tested? No



  • Isolation period: At least ten (10) days, from the day you received your positive result
  • Where to isolate: Home or in a Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facility (TTMF)
  • Clearance: If you remain not having any symptoms and are clinically recovered in the past three (3) days
  • Do you need to get re-tested? No



  • Isolation period: At least twenty one (21) days, from the first day you experience any symptoms
  • Where to isolate: Hospital
  • Clearance: If you remain not having any symptoms and are clinically recovered in the past three (3) days
  • Do you need to get re-tested? No

*home isolation/quarantine may only be done if you have your own room and bathroom/comfort room, and you do not live with a family member who belong to the vulnerable group

What are the ways to maintain a strong physical and mental well-being?

  • Eat nutritious food such as fruits, vegetables, fish, and meat
  • Exercise inside for 30 minutes per day
  • Ensure to have enough sleep
  • Practice self-care. Simple relaxing and talking with your loved ones is a form of self-care.
  • Talk and check on with your loved ones.

What are coronaviruses?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses causing a range of illnesses, from the common cold to more serious infections such as those caused by Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-related Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-related Coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Coronavirus can also cause a variety of diseases in farm animals and domesticated pets.

What is the novel coronavirus

The novel coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. The novel coronavirus has caused severe pneumonia in several cases in China and has been exported to a range of countries and cities.

Last February 12, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the novel disease is officially called Coronavirus Disease 19 or COVID-19, and the virus infecting it is referred to as COVID-19 virus.


Where did the COVID-19 originate?

Last 31 December 2019, a clustering of pneumonia cases of unknown etiology  in Wuhan, China was reported to the WHO Country Office. The outbreak was later determined to be caused by a new coronavirus strain that has not been previously identified in humans.


How does COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 is transmitted from person to person via droplets, contact, and fomites. It is transmitted when one individual talks, sneezes, or coughs producing ‘droplets’ of saliva containing the COVID-19 virus. These droplets are then inhaled by another person. COVID-19 transmission usually occurs among close contacts -- including family members and healthcare workers. It is therefore important to maintain a distance of more than 1 meter away from any person who has respiratory symptoms.

How long does the virus survive on surfaces?

According to WHO, there is no confirmed timeline how long a COVID-19 virus survives in surfaces. However, most likely it behaves like other coronaviruses. Studies show that coronaviruses can survive on surfaces for a few hours up to several days depending on varied conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).

If you suspect that a surface is infected, clean it with disinfectant; clean your hands with alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash them with soap and water; and if possible, minimize touching your eyes, mouth or nose.

Is it safe to receive packages from China?

Yes, it is. From what we know about the coronaviruses so far, they do not survive long on objects, such as packages and letters. As such, receiving packages from China does not pose risk of contracting the virus to the recipient.

What are the signs and symptoms of COVID-19?

According to WHO, the most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness and dry cough. Few patients experience aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. Patients usually have mild symptoms that start gradually. Most patients recover without needing any special treatment. Only around 1 of 6 patients manifest with difficulty breathing and become seriously ill.

Do all individuals infected with COVID-19 present with signs and symptoms?

Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell.

Can COVID-19 be caught from a person who has no symptoms?

The risk of getting COVID-19 from a person without any signs and symptoms is very low. Remember, COVID-19 is only spread through respiratory droplets coughed by an infected person. Therefore, if an infected person does not cough, he/she most likely will not infect others. However, many infected persons only experience mild symptoms. This is particularly true at the early stages of the disease. It is therefore possible to get COVID-19 from an infected person with mild cough but is not feeling ill.

Who are most likely to present with severe symptoms?

Older people and those with underlying medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes are most likely to develop severe or critical form of COVID-19.

Is COVID-19 fatal?

COVID-19 could be fatal, but this happens rarely. According to WHO, 82% of infected patients will have mild presentations, 15% will have severe manifestations, and only 3% will be critical. As mentioned before, older people, people with compromised immune systems, and people with pre-existing medical conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, are more prone to fall severely ill with the virus. Around 2% of people infected with the disease have died.

Is COVID-19 the same with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)?

No. The COVID-19 virus and the SARS-CoV are both coronaviruses and are genetically related to each other, but they are different. SARS is more fatal and deadly but less infectious than COVID-19.


What can I do to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

DOH advises the public to practice protective measures. It is still the best way to protect oneself against COVID-19.

a. Practice frequent and proper handwashing - wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

b. Practice proper cough etiquette.

i. Cover mouth and nose using tissue or sleeves/bend of the elbow when coughing or sneezing.
ii. Move away from people when coughing.
iii. Do not spit.
Throw away used tissues properly.
v. Always wash your hands after sneezing or coughing.
vi. Use alcohol/sanitizer.

c. Maintain distance of at least one meter away from individual/s experiencing respiratory symptoms.

d. Avoid unprotected contact with farm or wild animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).

e. Ensure that food is well-cooked.

How to use and dispose of a medical mask?

This is how to use and dispose a medical mask:

  1. Before picking an unused mask, clean hands with an alcohol based hand sanitizer or with soap and water;

  2. Pick up the mask and inspect for tears or holes;

  3. Orient yourself with the top side, where the metal strip is;

  4. Identify the proper side of mask facing outside, the colored side;

  5. Place the mask to you face, pinch the metal strip and mould it to your nose and face;

  6. Pull down the mask’s bottom so it covers your mouth and your chin;

  7. After use, take off the mask, remove the elastic loops from behind the ears while keeping the mask away from your face and clothes;

  8. Do not allow the mask to touch or contaminate surfaces or clothes;

  9. Avoid touching potentially contaminated parts of the mask;

  10. Discard the mask in a closed bin immediately after use; and

  11. Clean your hands after discarding your mask.


Where can the public get information about COVID-19?

The public can get information about the 2019-nCoV from the DOH’s official press releases, website, and official social media platforms. Please be wary of fake news and reports circulating online, and always verify the sources of your information.

What are the DOH and other concerned agencies doing to contain the situation?

DOH is closely monitoring individuals who manifested signs of respiratory infection and had a history of travel to China or other countries with confirmed COVID-19 cases, and is coordinating with WHO and China Center for Disease Control for updates.  The Department is also strictly monitoring our repatriates from Wuhan, China and the M/V Diamond Princess in Japan, and continues to conduct contact tracing of our positive cases to ascertain that the spread of the virus locally is put to a halt.

Moreover, DOH has instituted the Interagency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), the agency in-charge for the overall management of COVID-19 preparedness and response. It has likewise created the DOH Emergency Operation Center (DOH EOC) for COVID-19, a command center in-charge of consolidating updates and information as the COVID-19 health event evolves.

In terms of communicating developments to the public, the Department holds press briefings thrice a week to ensure the government’s transparency and accountability.

DOH also enhanced its coronavirus laboratory testing capacity, hospital preparedness, rapid response, and its risk communication and information dissemination. Personal Protective Equipment is made available at the Bureau of Quarantine, Centers for Health Development, and DOH Hospitals.

Finally, the Bureau of Quarantine is working with airlines and airport authorities to strengthen border surveillance, while the Epidemiology Bureau is heightening its community surveillance.