400 COVID patients recover in 3 Benguet mine caps

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ITOGON, Benguet – Some four hundred confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients from three mining camps in the province were able to successfully recover from the prevailing health problem after undergoing isolation from the established isolation facilities in the mine sites.

Earlier, COVID cases in the mine sites and surrounding communities of Philex Mining Corporation, Benguet Corporation (BC) and the Itogon-Suyoc Resources, Inc., a subsidiary of the Davao-based Apex Mining, recorded a sudden surge during the last week of October where there was a total of 841 patients that was reported.

BC accounted for the highest number of COVID cases with 371, including 51 employees, and 321 members of the community.

BC administration department manager lawyer Froilan Roger c. Lawilao stated that 47 patients, including 34 employees were already able to recover from the virus while some 15 cases, including some 17 workers, will be discharged from the company’s isolation units by November 15, 2020.

Prior to the conduct of the mass testing, BC recorded some 121 cases, including 1 employee, but after the aforesaid test, there were 250 new cases that were immediately isolated to prevent the spread of the virus in the mining community.

In the case of Philex, legal and administrative division head lawyer Eduardo M. Aratas stated that the company was able to document some 319 COVID cases where 176 are company employees, 118 individuals are members of the community and 25 persons are employees of contractors.

Of the aforesaid number of confirmed cases, Aratas disclosed that some 264 patients were already able to recover where 171 individuals are company workers, 73 persons are members of the community and 20 people are employees of contractors.

Further, the Philex official added that there are some 55 active cases where 45 individuals are members of the community and 5 persons each from company employees and workers of contractors.

Aratas reported that the company has made available some 3 quarantine and isolation areas, particularly the Smith Hall with a bed capacity of 2 beds, the Sto. Nino Hospital with 10 beds and the Philex Elementary School with 224 beds.

However, he claimed that only 46 beds are currently occupied by the confirmed cases while some 208 beds are available for occupancy.

For ISRI, Apex Mining president and chief executive officer Louie R. Sarmiento revealed that the company was able to record some 151 cases in its one site where 89 patients were able to recover while 62 cases are still completing their prescribed isolation from the company’s established isolation facilities.

Sarmiento explained that of the 10 isolation tents that the company committed for the barangays and local government, some 4 isolation tents were already given to the concerned barangays to help in providing adequate isolation areas for future cases while the rest of the commitment will be turned over to the identified areas for temporary use of the same as isolation units. By HENT