BONTOC, Mountain Province – Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. attributed the continuous decline of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the province to the enhanced cooperation of the residents to the implementation of basic health and safety protocols to contain the transmission of the virus in their communities.
Lacwasan stated that coupled with the cooperation of the people to the health and safety protocols, is the willingness of close contacts of confirmed COVID patients to be subjected to the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, unlike in previous scenarios where health workers had difficulty of convincing people to undergo the gold standard in the testing of positive COVID cases.
He added that the decline in the number of COVID cases in the different parts of the province have also contributed in improving the health care utilization rate of the hospitals, and the temporary treatment and monitoring facilities established as existing isolation units are now almost vacant while the hospitals and other accredited health facilities have an average occupancy of 54 percent.
However, the governor pointed out that the decline in the number of COVID cases should not be a reason for people to be complacent and lenient in complying with the implementation of the basic health and safety protocols because the wearing of face masks and shields, the observance of physical distancing, and the practice of frequent handwashing and disinfection will remain the best weapon to prevent them from contracting the deadly virus.
According to him, municipal governments will still have the direct control in the enforcement of border controls to continue restricting the movement of people inside and outside their respective areas of jurisdiction to ensure there will be no unnecessary surges in COVID cases so that the local health care system will not be compromised and the health workers being stressed.
On the roll out of vaccination in the province, Lacwasan claimed that the vaccines that had been made available have already been used for the members of the priority sectors.
He stipulated there is a high acceptance rate for the vaccines among the people that is why the health workers have no problem in convincing them to be vaccinated for the utilization of the available supply of vaccines that had been provided by the health department.
Lacwasan urged the people to continue their being open-minded about the vaccines because the vaccine is an added protection aside from their compliance to the implementation of the prescribed health and safety protocols.
The local chief executive emphasized that the provincial government is doing its best to access additional vaccines from the health department to significantly increase the number of people vaccinated to help in the achievement of the desired herd immunity. By HENT