PHO Medical Specialist I Dr Antonette Agpas presented a data analysis on the place and nature of exposure of close contacts of a total of 207 COVID-19 positive cases in a recent meeting of the Provincial Inter-Agency Task Force.
Clustering of cases was observed to have surged in households, social and religious gatherings and in workplaces. Clustered cases were also observed in the work force, those with travel history and contacts of symptomatic cases.
The highest at 60 percent were close contacts in households followed by those who work and travel at 18% and social or religious gatherings at 14%.
The surge in cases was notable in the mining areas in Tuba and Itogon affecting many households in bunk houses. Cases in these areas drastically increased in two- weeks time.
Another case is attendance to a religious gathering of a positive case from Ifugao that infected other members.
For infection in the work places, police officers are the most affected. Transmission was noted in a national line agency and a barangay office.
Exposure was also observed in health facility, through government transactions, from neighbors and stores.
Agpas said the likelihood of virus transmission is in areas with closed spaces, crowded and with close contact settings or the so called three Cs, which must be looked into in communities to steam the transmission of COVID-19.
As a containment strategy, the promptness of detecting and isolation of COVID cases and their close contacts are crucial.
Meanwhile, in Itogon which has 181 active cases as of October 26, Mayor Victorio Palangdan stated that all these cases are isolated in different facilities and they are preparing for the testing of 1,500 close contacts.
Oplan TuGon (Tuba & Itogon) initiated by the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council is now assisting the municipality in addressing surge of COVID cases in the municipality. (JDP/SCA-PIA-CAR, Benguet)
By Susan Aro