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MANKAYAN, Benguet – The municipal government worked out with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Health (DOH) the increase of its contact tracers to 19 to strengthen its contact tracing efforts to abate the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the municipality.
Earlier, the municipal government had eight contact tracers trained to trace contacts of possible, suspected and probable cases in the different barangays that reported COVID cases since the implementation of the Luzonwide lockdown last March.
Mayor Frenzel A. Ayong said that some 11 contact tracers who are now undergoing the required training will be immediately deployed to augment the existing contact tracers and ensure the speedy tracing of the close contacts of confirmed COVID cases so that they can be isolated and prevent the local transmission of the deadly virus.
“There is a possibility of the surge in COVID cases in the Lepanto mine camp in the coming days thus we are closely coordinating with the concerned sectors to ensure that our quarantine and isolation facilities will be ready for any eventuality and to prevent our local health care system from being stressed and our health workers and other frontliners from being overwhelmed,” Mayor Ayong stressed.
He stated that last November 10th, there was one case discovered in the mine camp followed by two cases last November 15th and four cases last November 20th.
However, the number of COVID cases in the mine camp significantly increased to eight last November 22nd that compelled the municipal inter-agency task force to immediately convene and trigger its established systems to avert the possible outbreak of the virus in the mining community.
According to him, the municipal government does not want a repeat of the recent incidents of outbreaks in some mine camps in the province to happen in the municipality thus measures, such as screening, among others, are being undertaken to prevent the occurrence of worst case scenarios that will affect the town’s health care system.
He claimed there are already symptomatic individuals who had been isolated and initially turned out to be positive in the antigen test, a screening tool, and are now awaiting the confirmatory reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).
Ayong asserted that the municipal government will continue to be in touch with the different mining companies and the local governments that were able to control the further spread of the virus in their areas of operation for the same to be replicated in the mine camp to ensure the situation remain under control and the health and safety of the mine workers are protected.
He appealed to residents who will be affected by the future implementation of stringent measures to restrict their movement to understand the same because it is geared towards protecting their health and safety and to abate the spread of the virus in the community. By HENT