MANKAYAN, Benguet – The municipal government has sufficient quarantine and isolation facilities to cater to the isolation requirements of probable and suspected Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients once there will be a sudden surge in cases in the coming weeks due to ongoing aggressive contact tracing and expanded testing.
During the regular Network Briefing program hosted by Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar which was aired in various traditional and social media platforms, Mayor Frenzel Ayong stated that the recent experience that the local government encountered when there was a sudden surge in COVID cases in the Lepanto mine camp last December allowed the concerned stakeholders to ensure their readiness for whatever eventualities that will transpire in the coming weeks.
He said that the identification of the available quarantine and isolation facilities in the different parts of the municipality was done in close coordination with the education department and assigned school officials so that schools will be immediately opened as temporary quarantine and isolation facilities once there will be sudden increase in cases from the various barangays.
The local chief executive stipulated that there was a time in December where the municipality had more or less 500 confirmed COVID cases at one tie but the local government and the frontliners were able to immediately address the situation by providing the available isolation facilities for the patients.
According to him, the existing quarantine and isolation facilities could cater to the isolation requirements of more than 600 confirmed cases at one time when there will be another surge in cases but local officials remain optimistic that there will be no untoward incidents that will transpire and cause another increase in cases.
For the latest increase in COVID cases where there were 25 individuals who tested positive of the virus in a single day, Mayor Ayong explained that the said individuals are considered to be relatives who attended a wedding in barangay Balili but before they were allowed to report for work, they were required to undergo the required swab test that paved the way for their being confirmed to have contracted the virus, thus, aggressive contact tracing was done while the patients were immediately isolated from their families.
He asserted that the local government remains consistent in the enforcement of the prevailing basic health and safety protocols as part of the overall strategy to contain the spread of the virus in the municipality, thus, residents should continue complying with the same because it is still the best remedy to prevent them from contracting the virus while awaiting for the vaccine to be made available.
The local chief executive advised residents to refrain from organizing mass gatherings in their residences or public places to prevent a repeat of the situation where such occasions have become the source of the spread of the deadly virus in their communities, thus, it is still best for them to avoid attending such gatherings to abate whatever incident that will again place the municipality in a badlight because of increase in cases where Mankayan will be again projected as one of the identified high risk areas by health experts.