BAGUIO CITY— The local government units (LGUs) in the region are directed to strengthen their efforts to prevent the transmission of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant here.
OIC-Regional Director Araceli San Jose of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Cordillera office stated there is a need to further strengthen LGU efforts in taking precautionary measures to mitigate the spread of the “heavily mutated” Omicron variant.
“Be assured that the department will re-orient community leaders and health workers, including Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTs), on the fundamentals of COVID-19 response, allowing them to respond to queries and provide support to citizens in a more responsive manner,” she said.
She also stated that LGU Contact Tracing Teams (CTT) will use available technologies for both active and passive contact tracing to supplement manpower and resource constraints.
“We urge our local chief executives to ensure the consistent implementation of minimum public health standards and the use of Prevent, Detect, Isolate, Treat, Reintegrate + Vaccinate (PDITR) strategy and contact tracing, as well as closely monitor adherence to home quarantine and isolation protocols, including conducting daily checks of quarantined individuals in-person or via mobile/telephone,” 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.
In terms of vaccination efforts, the OIC-RD San Jose stated that local governments should conduct house-to-house COVID-19 vaccinations of priority groups A2 and A3 and seek the support of civil society, private sector, and development agency partners for community-level interventions to expedite inoculation.
Meanwhile, the Department sternly warns the public not to disregard minimum public health standards, as well as testing, isolation, or quarantine protocols, as the government reimposes the previous pandemic response in anticipation of a case surge caused by the newly detected Omicron variant.