BONTOC, Mountain Province– The unabated conduct of social gatherings as a result of the implementation of the various levels of community quarantine triggered the recent spike in the number of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the province over the past several days.
However, Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. stated that there is a need to strike a balance in allowing the residents to practice their culture and traditions and the implementation of basic health and safety protocols to ensure the overall health and safety of the majority of the populace.
He admitted that there is already local transmission of the virus provincewide that is why the provincial and municipal inter-agency task forces for the management of emerging infectious diseases have to formulate appropriate strategies to contain the surge in the number of COVID cases that might compromise the local health care system and stress the frontliners.
Lacwasan claimed that as part of the stop gap measures being undertaken by the provincial government to ensure the availability of isolation beds for confirmed COVID cases, some of the province’s buildings were converted into isolation facilities aside from renting out some hotels in the locality to augment the isolation centers of municipal government to cater to the increasing number of patients being required to undergo the facility-based isolation.
Based on the data from the Cordillera office of the health department as of March 25, 2021, Mountain Province recorded a total of 2,286 COVID cases where 1,599 individuals were able to recover, 654 cases remain active while 333 persons died because of the deadly virus.
Lacwasan appealed to the people of the province to sustain their adherence to the implementation of the basic health and safety protocols such as the mandatory wearing of face masks and shields, observance of physical distancing and the practice of personal hygiene and regular disinfection.
According to him, people should limit their attendance to social gatherings to help contain the surge in the number of cases and prevent the local health system from being compromised and health workers from being stressed.
The governor stipulated that residents should understand that the implementation of ongoing restrictions is for their own health and safety and not to prohibit them from practicing their culture and traditions because of the emerging threat of the virus to the overall health and safety of the people.
He disclosed that residents are very emotional when being reminded of their compliance to the basic health and safety protocols in the conduct of their social gatherings to practice their culture and traditions but there is still a need for the concerned local governments to strictly enforce the prevailing restrictions because what is at stake is the health and safety of the majority of the populace.
Lacwasan asserted that the provincial and municipal inter-agency task forces are simply enforcing the guidelines that are being cascaded by the national inter-agency task force, thus, people should understand that they are being monitored by concerned government agencies if they are implementing such policies in their areas of jurisdiction. By HENT