COVID-19 Crisis: Hospitals and clinics in Muntinlupa City mandated to report COVID-19 cases or face charges and penalties

To outline the extent of COVID-19 health situation in the city, the City Government of Muntinlupa ordered hospitals and clinics to submit health information of COVID-19 cases and identified close contacts for disease surveillance and response.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi signed City Ordinance 2020-107 mandating all hospitals, healthcare facilities, and similar establishments providing laboratory and diagnostic services operating in Muntinlupa City to submit daily COVID-19 related data to the local public health authority.

Under the local ordinance, the City Health Office shall prepare a template requesting for personal health information of COVID-19 cases and identified close contacts from local health facilities.

Processing of health information shall only involve the minimum extent of personal data necessary for case investigation and management, contract tracing and monitoring, quarantine and isolation, mandatory reporting to public health authorities, or treatment and coordination purposes.

The City Government assures the public that the manner of processing of personal health information shall be in accordance with the guidelines by the Department of Health such as Administrative Order No. 2020-0013 (Guidelines for the lnclusion of COVID-19 in the List of Notifiable Diseases for Mandatory Reporting to the DOH) and DOH Department Memorandum No. 2020-0189 (Updated Guidelines on Contact Tracing of Close Contacts of Confirmed COVID-19 Cases).

Muntinlupa City Council majority floor leader Coun. Raul Corro said the purpose of the reportorial requirement is to build a repository of real-time COVID-19 data as basis of evidence-informed health policy and intervention measures.

Corro added the real-time sharing of data from healthcare facilities and the City Health Office will help improve local response activities, including the quality and accessibility of health services and other related interventions for COVID-19.

Establishments violating provisions in the local ordinance shall be penalized with closure, suspension, or revocation of its business permit or license.

Further, Muntinlupa City Council also approved City Ordinance 2020-126 ordering the mandatory self-isolation, or admission to city isolation facilities if requirements for home quarantine are not met as certified by the City Health Office (CHO), for anyone who have undergone COVID-19 swab testing.

The local ordinance aims to restrict movement of suspect cases and prevent possible carriers of the virus to travel and infect other individuals. Residents violating the local ordinance will face P3,000 penalty for first offense, P5,000 for second offense, and a maximum of one-year imprisonment upon discretion of the court and P5,000 penalty for the third and succeeding offenses.

Isolation facilities in Muntinlupa are located in Ospital ng Muntinlupa, Brgy. Alabang and Emergency Quarantine Facility (EQF) in Brgy. Sucat. An additional quarantine facility is being constructed in Pacwood Site, Brgy. Tunasan in partnership with the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi urged city residents to continue exercise vigilance and strict observance of health protocols such as frequent hand-washing, physical distancing, wearing of face masks, proper cough etiquette, and other precautionary measures.

As of September 10, Muntinlupa City has 3,785 confirmed cases with 2,960 recoveries, 696 active cases, 129 reported deaths, 552 suspect cases, and 571 probable cases.

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Latest City Government of Muntinlupa details sourced from their official media release. Some parts were edited for this website.

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