SAGADA, Mountain Province – Residents from the ten towns of the province are now experiencing difficulty in travelling to the capital town of Bontoc to transact with the different government offices and purchase basic goods for their essential needs because of the delayed release of the swab test results of the close contacts of the latest confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients that caused the order mandating the total lockdown of the municipality.
Mayor James Pooten said the delayed release of the swab test results of the close contacts of the latest confirmed COVID-19 cases in the province has resulted in the delayed lifting of the total lockdown in the capital town restricting the movement of people in and out of the different municipalities thus greatly affecting government and private transactions in the different offices.
He added the latest order of Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. for the provincial government to operate on a skeletal force had also caused serious delays in the transactions of the different government offices resulting to delayed delivery of basic services.
Mayor Pooten also admitted that local businessmen are now also feeling the negative effect of the prolonged lockdown in the capital town because they could not travel to the center of trade and commerce to purchase the goods to replenish their inventories.
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The municipal chief executive said the second level contacts of the confirmed COVID-19 patients from the Provincial Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) had been subjected to the required swabbing last Thursday and the results were supposed to be released last weekend but these were delayed for still unknown reasons.
According to him, the swab test results submitted to the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) will determine whether or not the prevailing lockdown in the capital town of Bontoc will be lifted the soonest.
Pooten remains optimistic the swab test results of the secondary contacts of the confirmed cases will be negative so that there will be a leeway for Bontoc municipal officials and the Mountain Province leadership to lift the total lockdown for the resumption of normal business activities in the whole province.
The mayor said that Bontoc is the center of trade and commerce in the province thus the implementation of the total lockdown in the capital town significantly affects the mobility of people and the availability of basic goods in the different municipalities that rely on businesses in the area for their supply of essential goods.
Mayor Pooten appealed to the residents of the municipality to bear with the present inconveniences being experienced due to the total lockdown of Bontoc as this aims to protect the health and safety of the people and to prevent the surge in the number of COVID-19 cases.
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