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MANKAYAN, Benguet – The municipal government significantly increased its isolation beds with the identification of some public schools and apartments to cater to the surge in the number of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, especially in the Lepanto mine camp and other crowded areas in the municipality.
Mayor Frenzel A. Ayong stated the municipal government is striving to ensure the availability of isolation beds for possible, suspected and probable COVID cases to cope with the significant increase in the number of positive cases from the Lepanto mine camp.
He said that the 217 isolation beds in the municipality includes the previously established isolation centers aside from the public schools that are now being used as isolation facilities for asymptomatic patients who tested positive for the deadly virus.
The municipal chief executive expressed his gratitude to apartment owners in the municipality for allowing the use of their rooms as temporary isolation areas as this lessened the burden on the municipal government in accommodating the sudden increase of confirmed cases in various parts of the municipality over the past several days thus preventing the local health care system from being compromised and the frontliners from being overwhelmed.
Since November 10, 2020, COVID cases in Lepanto increased that brought the number of confirmed cases in the municipality to be over 100 with 95 active cases.
Mayor Ayong pointed out the prevailing pandemic brought out the best and the worst among residents but it is important that there are still many people who are contributing their best efforts in helping municipal officials to effectively and efficiently address the problems caused by the pandemic.
According to him, the private sector in the municipality has a vital role in helping address the issues and concerns confronting the municipal government in handling the possible, suspected and probable cases and the operation of the quarantine and isolation facilities.
Mankayan is the latest municipality in the province experiencing a sudden surge in the number of COVID cases because of the discovery of asymptomatic cases in the Lepanto mine camp, like what happened in similar mine camps in the mining towns of Tuba and Itogon that host the operation of the Philex Mining Corporation, Benguet Corporation and Itogon Suyoc Resources, Inc., respectively.
The municipal mayor appealed to residents in the municipality to be calm and sober despite the sudden surge in the number of COVID cases in the Lepanto mine camp because the concerned government agencies and the municipal government are in control of the situation as most of the cases are asymptomatic and will undergo recovery either in home isolation, depending on the assessment of health authorities, or in isolation units.