Police will escort Covid-19-positive individuals to quarantine facilities and will not conduct a “house-to-house” search for patients, Malacañang clarified on Wednesday.

“We don’t have a provision for house-to-house,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said about the government’s new “Oplan Kalinga” over ANC’s Headstart.

Only patients undergoing home quarantine who self-report or are reported by their families or barangay leaders will be escorted by the police to quarantine facilities, Roque said.

“There is a law, which is RA (Republic Act) 11332, which says that they have to report communicable diseases,” he said.

Roque’s clarification came after Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Tueaday said that police, in partnership with local government units, would search house-to-house to identify and isolate Covid-19-positive individuals showing little to no symptoms.

Roque claimed isolation would be like a “paid vacation,” as quarantined patients would be brought to air-conditioned facilities with free wifi connection and three free meals a day.

“Oplan Kalinga” was established after the World Health Organization discouraged home quarantine for patients showing “mild” to no symptoms and recommended that they be isolated in designated facilities instead.

The country’s chief testing czar, Vince Dizon, said only Covid-positive individuals with his or her own room and bathroom, and not sharing a residence with a person with an illness or the elderly or pregnant women, could undergo home quarantine.

If a patient fails to meet the requirements, he or she should be reported or sent to a quarantine facility, he said.

Roque said that if patients insisted on staying at home, the state itself could isolate them in consideration of public health.

“Sentido-kumon. It’s a very communicable disease, and if they refuse to be isolated, the state, of course, can isolate them. I don’t think it will go to that extent because we are trying precisely to entice them with an excellent facility. It’s a paid-for vacation in an air-conditioned facility,” he said. John Ezekiel J. Hirro