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Do you suspect you have COVID-19? Here’s a step-by-step guide on what to do next

By BROOKE VILLANUEVA Published Apr 08, 2021 7:13 pm

Nowadays, just a simple flu, cough, or tiredness can be quite alarming due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

They’re the most common symptoms of COVID-19, which may appear around 2-14 days after virus exposure, according to the World Health Organization. The less common ones are aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, or diarrhea.

“Only around 1 of 6 patients manifest with difficulty breathing and become seriously ill,” the Department of Health said.

While the DOH stated that most COVID-positive individuals recover without needing any treatment, it’s important to stay vigilant for signs of infection and know what to do next in order to prevent further spread of the virus.

Below is a step-a-step guide that might help.

Get tested for COVID-19. The Philippines now has over 239 laboratories offering RT-PCR testing, rapid antigen test (AgT), and pooled testing. Contact the one near you if symptoms progress. 

Separate yourself from others. Living under the same roof with other people? Make sure to keep them safe by keeping at a distance. If there is enough space in your house, use a separate bedroom and bathroom and use your own household items as you wait for the results and monitor your symptoms. 

Consult your doctor. Get in touch with your doctor, nurse, or your barangay’s health worker to know more about your symptoms. You may also reach out to the following for teleconsultations: TelAventus MD, MedCheck E-Consult, CloudPx, SeeYouDoc, HealthNowPH, or TrinityCare at 0917-111-1975. 

Inform the Barangay Health Emergency Response Team or BHERT about your condition immediately. The barangay response team or BHERT may also visit houses to proactively find cases. But if you experience a number of COVID-19 symptoms, you can also get in touch with BHERT who may then help refer you to the nearest available hospital.

For help and assistance, you may also contact your local government unit’s COVID-19 hotlines, as compiled by the Office of the Vice President’s Bayanihan E-Konsulta.

If you do test positive for the virus, facility-based quarantine and isolation must be the first option. “Home-based quarantine and isolation can be done if with capacity for own room, own toilet, and no most-at-risk population at home,” the DOH said. “HQ is encouraged only when all of the following, not just some, requirements are strictly met: solo room, solo toilet, and no elderly.” The BHERT is expected to monitor your condition on a regular basis.

Take note of your COVID-19 classification. If you are asymptomatic or exhibiting mild symptoms, you’d have to stay in temporary treatment and monitoring facilities. If you are experiencing moderate to severe symptoms, you’d have to be quarantined in level 3 hospitals.

As of today, April 8, the Philippines has recorded a total of 828,366 COVID-19 infections—with 167,279 active cases, 646,968 recoveries, and 14,119 deaths. With the COVID-19 surge in the country, many hospitals have reached full capacity, prompting some establishments to offer home care.