MANKAYAN, Benguet – The municipal government urged the management of the Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company (LCMC) to immediately put up additional quarantine facilities within hits mine site as part of the quarantine measures for suspected and probable Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the community.
Mayor Frenzel A. Ayong issued the directive during the meeting of the municipal inter-agency task force for the management of emerging infectious diseases as part of the municipal government’s proactive approach to ensure the availability of sufficient quarantine facilities once there will be a sudden surge in confirmed COVID cases because of the gradual opening of the economy.
He pointed out that the municipal government does not want the present health care system of the municipality to be compromised in case there will be a spike in cases of the deadly virus, thus, there must be established additional quarantine facilities where suspected and probable patients, including their close contacts can be quarantined to prevent the further spread of the virus in the different communities, especially in the mine site.
The municipal chief executive also requested the mining company to have their returning workers from outside the municipality undergo the required 14-day quarantine in the facilities before officially reporting for work as part of the precautionary measures to abate the possible surge in cases.
Mayor Ayong proposed that workers from low-risk areas like those who are in the municipality will be the first to report for work before allowing the entry of workers coming from outside after having undergone the required quarantine.
Earlier, some 300 mine workers were allegedly asked by the company to go on forced leave until further notice which was brought to the attention of the labor department as the same might be in violation of existing labor laws.
According him, all necessary measures to prevent the sudden surge of the deadly virus in the municipality must be strictly implemented not only by the concerned government agencies and the local government but also the private sector and the residents to maintain the town’s status as a low-risk area.
Aside from the put up of additional quarantine facilities in the mine site and other potential sites in the municipality, the mayor called on residents to continue adhering to the basic health protocols such as the mandatory wearing of face masks, the observance of physical distancing at all times and the practice of personal hygiene as well as keeping one’s immune system strong.
Ayong claimed that the spread of the deadly virus in the community could be prevented if people obey the basic health protocols and for people entering the municipality to undergo the necessary triaging and the required quarantine for the benefit of protecting the health and safety of the residents.
He stated that people should not allow the gains of the implementation of the community quarantine in the municipality from being ruined by a simple mistake that could affect the state of the town’s health care system. By HENT