LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Gov. Melchor Diclas appealed to the residents of the province to understand the reason the strict compliance to the minimum public health standards is still the best available weapon to prevent the sudden surge and the rapid spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The governor, who is a medical doctor by profession, pointed out that provincial and municipal officials as well as health workers respect the age-old and time honored culture and traditions of the people of Benguet, especially in caring for their dead love ones, but the prevailing pandemic situation is totally different from the pre-pandemic that is why the inter-agency task force for the management of emerging infectious diseases crafted the guidelines in the enforcement of the minimum public health standards to contain the rapid spread of the deadly virus.
“We hope that our people will understand our situation as implementers of the guidelines that are being cascaded by the inter-agency task force. Much as we want our people to extend the wake of their love ones, our hands are really tied by the established regulations which everyone must follow to avoid future complaints,” Gov. Diclas stressed.
Diclas pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic created a very extraordinary situation in all parts of the world that is why the civilization and governments are working extra hard to find ways on how to deal with the situation without compromising the overall welfare of the populace, thus, it is for the said reason that the provincial inter-agency task force wants the people of Benguet to work with the government to avoid the occurrence of untoward incidents that might compromise the state of the local health care system and stress the existing frontliners.
Under existing policies and guidelines from the health department, dead persons that test positive for the deadly virus shall be cremated within 12 hours after their death while local governments are mandated to craft their regulations governing the wake that will be conducted for dead people that test negative for the virus.
Further, family members of COVID-positive dead persons are mandated to undergo the required 14-day quarantine for those that are asymptomatic and 14-day isolation for those who possess symptoms.
In Benguet, family members, relatives and friends of dead people who test negative of the virus are allowed to conduct the wake of the same for at least 3 to 4 days without any extension. The same is true in almost all municipalities that crafted their respective their guidelines for the conduct of wakes of the dead love ones of their constituents.
He explained that people saw how difficult the situation of the province when there was a surge of COVID cases in the past that caused the local health care system to be nearly compromised and the frontlines from being stressed that is why they do not want the same to happen again because it might be more difficult to handle the situation.
The local chief executive asserted that members of the provincial inter-agency task force are trying to balance everything so that the COVID situation will remain to be manageable that is why the cooperation of the public is required to prevent the situation from going out of control.