COVID-19 mass testing in Mankayan set next week

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MANKAYAN, Benguet – Concerned personnel of the State-run Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), the Cordillera Offices of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD-CAR) and the health department will be in this mining town anytime next week to conduct the required mass testing among the identified members of the vulnerable sectors for the immediate isolation of individuals who will test positive of the dreaded Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) to prevent the spread of the illness among the populace.

However, Mayor Frenzel A. Ayong stated that the municipal government will settle for the conduct of some 1,000 tests among untested mine workers and members of the vulnerable sectors in the municipality so as not to unduly stress the available isolation facilities which are nearing full capacity because of the previous surge in the number of cases since last week.

He claimed there are only 400 mine workers who have not yet been tested so the remaining individuals who will be availing of the scheduled mass testing in the municipality will come from the vulnerable sectors to be identified by the municipal health office.

The municipal chief executive claimed OCD-CAR regional director Albert Mogol, who also chairs the regional inter-agency task force on emerging infectious diseases, immediately got in touch with the municipal government to inquire on the assistance needed by the locality that included the upcoming mass testing.

Mayor Ayong said that the town’s positivity rate during the series of mass testing conducted among workers of the Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company was pegged at 7 percent, a much higher rate compared to the 5 percent threshold of the World Health Organization (WHO).

According to him, the municipal inter-agency task force will assess and evaluate the situation after the mass testing next week that potential carriers of the virus will be immediately traced and isolated to prevent them from further spreading the deadly virus among the people in the different barangays.

COVID cases in the Lepanto mine camp were detected last November 10 which significantly increased over the past several days that compelled the municipal government to open more isolation centers for the increasing number of patients from the mine workers and their family members.

With all systems in place prior to the outbreak of COVID cases in the mine camp, the mayor stipulated that the municipal government is still in control of the situation but municipal officials still welcome the support from the government agencies, other local governments and the private sector to abate the further spread of the virus in the municipality as the outbreak is concentrated in the mine camp.

Mankayan hosts the operation of the Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company over the past eight decades with a work force of over 2,000 mine workers within its tenement area.

By HENT


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