Benguet towns still Covid-19 high-risk areas

COVID BEDS FULL. In this file photo taken April 13, health workers at the Saint Louis University Hospital of the Sacred Heart celebrate the recovery of one of its patients. Due to the growing number of Covid-19 cases, the Sacred Heart Hospital announced on Thursday, November 19 that it can no longer accommodate Covid-19 positive, probable and suspect patients because its “Covid-19 beds are full." (Photo by Jean Nicole Cortes)

LA TRINIDAD and Itogon in Benguet remain as high-risk areas for the novel coronavirus infection, based on the latest Octa research.

Due to the high daily caseload, attack rate and alarming hospital occupancy in the past weeks, the two towns were included in the recent Octa research.

The research team also urged identified high-risk local government units (LGUs) to further intensify their efforts in testing, tracing and isolation.

The Octa team is an independent and interdisciplinary research group composed primarily of University of the Philippines faculty members and alumni. The research team also includes contributors from the University of Santo Tomas and Providence College, USA.

La Trinidad Mayor Romeo Salda said although the town is included as one of the high-risk areas, they will continue to accommodate Covid-19 cases and isolate them.

“On our part, it's already there (the report), so we take that as a challenge to improve more facilities. What we are going to do is still isolate positive cases,” he added.

In the Municipal Inter-Agency Task Force for Covid-19 emergency meeting on November 18, the town recorded a 3.17 percent positivity rate for the virus. The identified main cause for coronavirus transmission is close contact at homes or boarding houses.

With more recoveries in other Benguet towns, Salda said they plan to coordinate and work on transferring residents in the towns who tested positive for the virus to the Venus Dormitory in Baguio City, one of the identified isolation facility for Benguet with a capacity of more than 70 beds.

Salda added those in their first few days of home quarantine will be prioritized and transferred to the facility.

Negotiations are also ongoing between the LGU and Concordia College for the latter to be an isolation facility, which can house 80 to 100 patients.

Salda also said P3 million was realigned from October to December from the Quick Respond Fund of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, which was transmitted to the Sangguniang Bayan for approval.

The funds will be utilized for the foods of patients in isolation facilities.

An amount of more than P23 million for the purchase of foods, personal protective equipment and P2.8 million for ambulance was also requested by the town.

Benguet Governor Melchor Diclas also reported a decrease in new Covid-19 cases from 130 a day in previous weeks down to 50 a day.

Diclas added they will maintain to follow the directives of the Department of Health and isolate patients.

As of Thursday evening, the provincial government has 355 active Covid-19 cases, 1,419 recoveries and 16 deaths.

The municipality of Itogon has 135 active cases, La Trinidad has 114 and Tuba with 44.


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