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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The municipal inter-agency task force on the management of emerging infectious diseases ordered the return to the fifty percent occupancy of public utility jeepneys (PUJs) as part of the restrictions that will be imposed following the downgrading of the province’s status from the previous modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) to general community quarantine (GCQ) up to the end of the month.
Further, the task force ordered the PUJ operators and drivers to sustain the regular disinfection of their vehicles and the fixing of the barriers for the added protection not only of the drivers but also the passengers from contracting the deadly virus.
The occupancy of the jeepneys plying the different routes inside and outside the municipality was increased to around 75 percent when the province was placed under MGCQ as part of the efforts of the gradual and safe revival of the local economy.
However, the continuous surge in the number of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) probably triggered by the more infectious Delta variant resulted to the downgrading of the province’s status to GCQ because of the critical health care utilization rate and the congestions in the various health facilities and temporary treatment and monitoring facilities around the province over the past several weeks.
The task force also requested the jeepney operators and drivers to always ensure the installation of clean and neat plastic barriers inside their vehicles to ensure the protection of both the passengers and drivers.
Moreover, drivers and passengers were also reminded to wear their face masks and shields at all times except when the same obstructs their vision or affects their breathing to avoid being exposed to the elements that would cause them to contract the virus.
According to the task force, law enforcers and deputized volunteers will strictly enforce the prevailing GCQ restrictions in the municipality up to the end of the month to help in containing the further surge in the number of COVID-19 cases to prevent the local health care system from being overwhelmed and the frontliners from being unduly stressed out, especially with the rapid increase in the number of cases.
The task force called on motorists and residents to sustain their compliance to the implementation of the minimum public health standards such as the wearing of face masks and shields, the observance of physical distancing and the practice of personal hygiene and disinfection of their residences as their contribution in containing the rapid spread of the virus and averting the congestion of health facilities and isolation centers.
The municipal government continues to look for alternative solutions on how to further expand its existing isolation centers by ensuring the use of some schools that will be converted into quarantine and isolation units to be able to accommodate the increasing number of COVId-19 positive patients required to undergo isolation.
At present, La Trinidad has already 5 confirmed Delta variant cases where 1 of them allegedly died while the rest have already recovered although back tracing of their close contacts are being undertaken by contact tracers to ensure the health and safety of their contacts. And to establish possible links with other confirmed COVID-19 patients not only in the locality but also in other nearby areas. By HENT