LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Members of the provincial inter-agency task force for the management of emerging infectious diseases (PIATF) agreed to limit the number of days for wakes to a maximum of three days to prevent the local transmission of the virus that caused the surges in cases in several towns over the past weeks.
Gov. Melchor D. Diclas, who presided over Monday’s meeting of the PIATF, stated that the conduct of social gatherings such as wakes, weddings, baptisms, among others, have been pinpointed by experts as the main source of the local transmission of the virus, thus, the collegial decision of the members to regulate the conduct of these to lessen the transmission of the virus so as not to compromise the province’s health care system and stress the already exhausted frontliners.
He added that wakes in other towns are reportedly extended from 5 to 7 days that opens the opportunity for the local transmission of the virus among the well-wishers of their deceased relatives, friends, acquaintances and neighbors, thus, the uniform conduct of wakes effective immediately will be 3 days, provided that, the deceased test negative of the virus.
It was discovered that social gatherings were among the reasons for the sudden surges in COVID cases in the towns of Buguias, Atok, La Trinidad, Itogon, and Tuba over the past several weeks thus stringent measures had to be enforced, especially with the downgrading of the province’s status to general community quarantine to avoid further escalation in COVID cases.
In such instances, the provincial official stipulated that physical distancing is frequently violated because people converge to eat and socialize and this is where the virus is transmitted until a surge in cases happens.
The governor also noted that the alleged failure of the residents to adhere to the prevailing implementation of the basic health and safety protocols was among the other reasons why there were surges in COVID cases in the province which now warrants vigilance among the people to always wear their face masks and shields, observe physical distancing and practice personal hygiene.
According to him, the battle against COVID is not yet over even with the arrival of a limited number of vaccines as only frontliners are being vaccinated thus people should not be complacent as the desired herd immunity is still far from being reached.
He reiterated that people should not put down their guard down but instead sustains their compliance to the existing restrictions and basic health and safety protocols as these remain the best weapon in preventing infection from the virus.
He also urged the 13 municipal governments to monitor the compliance of their constituents to the prevailing health and safety protocols to contain the surge in COVID cases province wide and avoid the further downgrading of the province’s status in the future. By HENT