The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday urged the public to self-isolate even at the slightest suspicion or symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III emphasized that even though an individual is just experiencing mild symptoms, it is still important for them to stay at home and isolate. He also advised that, in such an occurrence, it is important to contact the Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTs), a community organization tasked in managing all Covid-related healthcare needs.

He said BHERTs support the Local Epidemiology and Surveillance Units and Contact Tracing Teams in tracing confirmed Covid-19 patients and will visit houses to proactively find cases.

They will also facilitate the transfer of residents in the barangays and villages to temporary treatment and monitoring facilities (TTMFs) for isolation once they experience Covid-19 symptoms.

With the help of the Barangay Disiplina Brigade, he said BHERTs will implement minimum public health standards in the barangays and promote awareness of the virus.

“BHERTs are our first-line respondents in our respective communities. Let us take part in our community response. Let us be proactive and make an effort to know who exactly our BHERTs are, so we know who to listen to, and who to get help from if needed,” Duque said.

Duque added that the health department will coordinate with the Department of the Interior and Local Government and other local government units in the country to ensure that all BHERTs are equipped, visible, and accessible in local communities.

“We will strengthen and expand the capacity of our BHERTs to provide basic support to our people. They are our front-liners in our community who are sacrificing to protect us, and our community in the fight against Covid-19,” he said.

He also encouraged the public to help “our BHERT-friends in our communities by following our minimum health standards and isolate once symptoms are detected.

Duque advised people to actively find out who their BHERTs are and keep a tab of their activities for easier history-taking during contact tracing.

“We should all make the effort to know who the BHERTs are in our communities so we know who to call if the need arises. Let us also make it a habit to track everything we do and everywhere we go to make it easier for our contact tracing teams to identify who we were in contact with. If we work together, we will get through this pandemic,” he said. (DOH PR)