Governor Melchor Diclas in a press briefing said the province has now more than 1,400 COVID-19 cases with. recent cases mostly from the municipalities of Tuba and Itogon. Most are miners in at least three mine companies operating in the said areas and their family members and other close contacts.
With the surge of cases, the provincial government is working with various government agencies and even the National Inter Agency Task Force against COVID-19(IATF) to provide additional isolation facilities in the province.
Under the “Oplan Kalinga,” IATF, the Department of Health, Office of Civil Defense, the PLGU, Itogon LGU and the city government of Baguio have negotiated to convert the V-Dorm along T. Alonzo Street in Baguio City as a new isolation facility. This can accommodate at least 80 individuals.
Under the program, the National IATF would be shouldering the cost of the maintenance and operation of facility while the DOH will be providing the medical personnel. The local government units will also provide on call doctors and other personnel.
Diclas said the province is also negotiating with the management of the Concordia College along Lamtang in Puguis, La Trinidad to be used as isolation facility which can accommodate at least 80 to 100 people.
He added that the DPWH-CAR is also fast tracking the construction of a collapsible structure with at least 16- bed capacity which can be used as a temporary isolation facility in the province.
The Governor said that these facilities if approved to be used as isolation facilities will be very helpful in the management of the COVID-19 cases in the province. He clarified that these facilities will only be accommodating asymptomatic patients. Those who have symptoms such as fever and cough and flu-like illness would be admitted at the Benguet General Hospital or the different district hospitals in the municipalities.
He added that these facilities will be addition to the existing temporary treatment and monitoring facilities of the different municipalities.
The provincial government is managing at least four COVID-19 isolation facilities including the Benguet General Hospital, the Temporary Provincial Quarantine Facility and the Regional Evacuation Center, both in Wangal, and the BSU Dormitory in KM 5, all in La Trinidad.
Diclas explained that although home isolation is not recommended for Covid positive patients, it is being allowed in the meantime due to lack of facilities as long as the patients have spaces in their homes for isolation and they will also be regularly monitored by the health workers.
Aside from providing more isolation facilities, the provincial government is also continually distributing relief goods like rice and vegetables to the communities affected by the lockdown in Tuba and Itogon.
The DSWD-CAR has also distributed food packs and is conducting assessment for the additional needs of the affected communities. (JDP/RMC- PIA CAR)
By Redjie Melvic Cawis