Mankayan mayor slams belated Octa research data

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MANKAYAN, Benguet – Mayor Frenzel A. Ayong lashed out at the recent Octa research data showing that Mankayan is the top high risk municipality in the country, saying that the basis of the data is already outdated and overtaken by the recent developments in the municipality, especially the significant decrease in the number of confirmed Corona Virus Disease (COVID) 2019 cases over the past several weeks.

The municipal chief executive pointed out that the basis of the data of the supposed respected research group was that gathered during the period November 30 to December 6 which was already over a month ago and does not already depict the real tie situation of the virus in the locality for the prevailing period.

He admitted that the municipality recorded 60 confirmed COVID cases last December 3 followed by 85 reported cases last December 6 before cases started to decline up to the present and to conclude that Mankayan is among the high risk areas in the country using outdated data is no longer realistic at the present that the situation has been placed under control by the municipal inter-agency task force on emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.

“We believe that we have done our part and we have substantial proof that our cases had been drastically declining over the past several weeks that is why we do not deserve to be included as among the identified high-risk areas based on outdated data. We respect the findings and recommendations of the prestigious research group but something must be done to illustrate the prevailing situation in the various areas in the country real time,” Mayor Ayong stressed.

According to him, the municipal task force was able to place the COVID situation in the municipality under control aside from the fact that the municipality might already have hurdled the critical situation of the virus although the threat of the separate strain of the deadly virus remains following the discovery of the same in other countries.

He called on sectors of the municipality not to be affected by the negative projection by the Octa research group on the prevailing situation in the municipality because residents and local officials are aware of the real situation on the ground which need not to be highly publicized unlike what is being done by other officials who want to project a good image of themselves but what is happening in their areas is totally a reverse of what they are depicting in the media.

Mayor Ayong asserted that concerned government agencies, the local government and the private sector will continue to work double time to contain the possible surge in the number of COVID cases in the municipality even if the situation had been placed under control because of other factors that might cause the increase in the number of cases, thus, the need to heighten the campaign for the people to adhered to the basic health and safety protocols and for the simple conduct of mass gatherings during the Yuletide season.

He emphasized that residents have been obedient in complying with existing health and safety protocols and observing physical distancing, thus, the need for the reiteration of such simple reminders that will serve as an eye opener for them to realize the benefits of being a law abiding citizen, especially in helping protect the health and safety of others.

By Hent