BAGUIO CITY – Department of the Interior and Local Government OIC Regional Director for Cordillera Araceli San Jose, who is also the chair of the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF), strongly urged local government units (LGUs) to pass an ordinance regulating the movement of individuals who have not been vaccinated or have only been partially vaccinated in the region due to the threat of the Omicron variant.
It can be recalled that the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on January 20, 2022 placed the provinces of Kalinga, Ifugao, Mountain Province under Alert Level 4 due to a surge in COVID-19 infections.
OIC RD San Jose explained that an escalation to Alert Level 4 means that an area has reached more than 70 percent in healthcare utilization rate, and alarmingly high two-week growth and average daily attack rates.
She also urged authorities to continue enforcing and the public to continue adhering to minimum public health standards.
“We urge our local chief executives to ensure the consistent implementation of minimum public health standards and to strengthen the implementation of the Prevent, Detect, Isolate, Treat, Reintegrate + Vaccinate strategy. Contact tracing, as well as closely monitoring of adherence to home quarantine and isolation protocols, including daily checking of quarantined individuals in-person or via mobile/telephone must be aggressively pursued,” she said.
The Department also advised local governments to operationalize and plan for the expansion of their telemedicine services, as well as to widely disseminate contact information to local communities.
San Jose stated that local government units can always seek the assistance of the RTF Against COVID-19 and the RIATF through the Office of Civil Defense Cordillera in conducting aggressive community testing to further detect COVID-19 carriers.
On the issue of vaccination, she also urged LGUs to work with Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams to bring COVID-19 vaccines closer to the people and cover the entire eligible population while also promoting trust in the effectiveness and safety of these vaccines.
Photo by: Armando M. Bolislis