Experts seek more restrictions against COVID spread

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Public and private health practitioners are seeking for the enforcement of stringent restrictions as part of the proposed ‘2-week timeout’  in the city to prevent the further spread of the dreaded Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, especially among the vulnerable sectors, such as the elderly.

Members of the city’s health sector recently met with Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong to discuss the appropriate measures to be undertaken to control the continuous surge in the number of COVID cases in the city over the past several weeks.

The health sector recommended the restrictions against senior citizens above 65 years old and with co-morbidities for them to stay at home as they are prone to contract the illness because of their sensitive condition.

Magalong agreed with the aforesaid recommendation with the issuance of Executive Order No. 170, series of 2020, implementing strict stay-at-home restrictions for persons over the age of 65 on November 17-27, 2020, except for work, medical purposes and to purchase necessary goods or access necessary services and that they have no other non-high risk relatives and acquaintances to assist them.

The health sector also pushed for the implementation of strict border controls for La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (LISTT) residents aside from the immediate roll out of inspection teams for compliance to minimum public health standards.

Moreover, the sector proposed the implementation of regulations on the consumption of alcoholic beverage for dine-in establishments where service is limited to a maximum of 4 individual servings per diner; barangays should strictly monitor gatherings in their areas of jurisdiction.

The city is inclined to implement stricter border controls for La Trinidad and Tuba residents similar to what had been earlier enforced for Itogon residents to help in controlling the surge in the number of COVID cases in the city daily and to send a clear message for the LISTT local governments to also institute the appropriate measures that will help in preventing the transmission of the virus in their areas of jurisdiction.

Earlier, the city government required residents who will hold social gatherings, such as birthdays, weddings, baptisms, wakes, among others, to first secure the approval of the City Mayor’s Office, especially when the same will be conducted in their residences, for monitoring on compliance to prescribed health and safety protocols by the concerned barangay officials.

Health workers were alarmed over the continuous surge in the number of confirmed COVID cases over the past several weeks that caused the city’s critical care capacity to be almost full leading them to propose the implementation of the ‘2-week time out’ to be able to effectively and efficiently address the said situation.

The proposal also included the conversion of the city’s isolation unit at the former Sto. Niño Hospital to a step down facility that can accommodate moderate cases that are already recovering from the illness to help in decongesting the hospitals for the said facilities to be able to accommodate more patients who are being admitted for further medical treatment. By Dexter A. See

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