Transparency in reporting of new COVID variant cases sought

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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet– The municipal government urged national and regional health authorities to be more transparent in the reporting of the new Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) variant cases in the municipality so that their local counterparts will not be left out guessing on the history of the patients.

Mayor Romeo K. Salda stated that it is unfortunate that the information on the new COVID variant cases in the locality are being relayed to him through text messages that is why they are caught unaware on the additional details of the cases due to the absence of detailed reports of the patients that will serve as a guide for contact tracers to do their assigned duties and responsibilities.

He pointed out that despite the obvious denial mood of some local officials in the Baguio and Benguet area on the possible presence of the new variant in the said places, it is evident that there is already local transmission of the new variant in the locality that is why people should continue to strictly adhere to the prevailing implementation of the basic health and safety protocols to protect them from contracting and subsequently spreading the virus in their communities.

“We want our health authorities to be more transparent in providing us the information on the latest cases of the new variant in the municipality so that we will be properly guided in the contact tracing efforts that should be done to ascertain the closer close contacts. The text messages that had been previously sent to us were not followed up by supposed entail reports on the additional cases,” Mayor Salda stressed.

Aside from the 22-year male employee of a warehouse who was said to be the first case of the new COVID variant in the municipality, the two additional reported cases were the 15-year-old younger sister of the first case and an 84-year old male who reportedly died in a Baguio-based hospital last January 24, 2021 and who belongs to a separate cluster in the municipality.

The first earth of the new COVID variant in the municipality had no history of travel and had no direct contacts, thus, local officials are wondering how he was able to contract the new variant that caused his untimely demise.

The local chief executive claimed that the new variant is now in the community that is why the best weapon to prevent residents from contracting the same is to be extra careful in their daily activities for them to help the concerned government agencies and the local government to contain the spread of the virus in the town.

According to him the first case of the new COVID variant in the municipality was able to recover while his close contact that happens to be his younger sister is reportedly asymptomatic and is now undergoing isolation in one of the facilities in the municipality under strict guidance of health authorities.

He stipulated that local health authorities will closely study the case of the 84-year old male who died because of the new variant to ascertain his probable close contacts and for them to be able to establish possible links that will allow them to formulate a conclusion on whether or not there is local transmission of the new variant although by all indications is that the B.1.1.7 variant is already in the community awaiting to attack people who refuse to adhere to the implementation of the prevailing health and safety protocols. By HENT