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BESAO, Mountain Province– The municipal government ordered the total lockdown of barangay Soquib where the first Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) case was recorded to closely observe the close contacts of the patient, among other measures to be implemented to prevent the possible transmission of the virus.
Mayor Johnson Bantog II said the total lockdown of barangay Soquib will be dependent on the manifestations of the patient’s close contacts who happen to be his family members.
The town’s first COVID-19 patient is a 19-year old male who is the younger brother of the executive officer of the Special Action Force (SAF) based in Camp Dennis Molintas in Bangao, Buguias, Benguet who visited his family in Soquib last June 6 and 7, 2020 before going back to the Buguias to serve as route security for the surrender of a civilian sympathizer.
Initially, the patient had some 24 close contacts in the municipality but the same was reduced to only 13 following the stringent contact tracing done by the municipal government.
“It is unfortunate that our municipality recorded the first case in the province despite the enforcement of our stringent quarantine protocols. If we were not strict in the implementation of our established protocols, we might have moor cases to date,” Mayor Bantog stressed.
The municipal chief executive pointed out that the municipal government implement the appropriate safety measures to control the spread of the virus with the hope that no one among his close contacts will test positive for the deadly virus.
Bantog asserted the enemy is really vicious and invisible thus people must continuously adhere to the stringent health and safety protocols being handed down for them to follow because it is really difficult for one to be contending with an unseen enemy that is within the midst of the community.
Besao’s first COVID-19 case happened to be the first confirmed COVID-19 in the province which maintain its COVID-19 free status for nearly 3 months since the implementation of the extended Luzonwide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Mayor Bantog appealed to the residents of barangay Soquib to understand the decision of the municipal government to impose a total lockdown in the said barangay until further notice because the same is part of the established protocols by the national inter-agency task force on emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases once there are confirmed cases in the areas of jurisdiction of local governments.
The municipal mayor claimed the contact tracing was completed the soonest and what is being awaited by health authorities is the possibility that the patient’s close contacts will manifest symptoms of the virus within a period of time that will warrant them to be subjected to the usual swab test for confirmation of they are infected with the virus.
Besao is one of the western towns of Mountain province which is the gateway to Quirino, Ilocos Sur once the ongoing construction of a road linking the two remote municipalities shall have been complete by concerned government agencies who were tasked of completing road networks around the country.