Mayor Frenzel Ayong said since mid-November, there have been a surge of COVID-19 cases in the mining community of Lepanto with the 69 single day infections recorded on Thursday (Dec. 3).
Of the 69 new cases, 38 new patients came from Barangay Paco, 27 from Barangay Sapid, three in Barangay Poblacion and one from Barangay Tabio. They were part of the aggressive contact tracing of the local government unit and the expanded testing of the mining company.
He also confirmed the first COVID-19 related death in the municipality, a 59 year old male from barangay Paco with co-morbidity, who expired on November 29.
From 24 COVID-19 cases in Nov. 15 when two cases were confirmed from the mining community in Mankayan, the municipality already recorded a total of 192 cases as of Dec. 3.
To abate the further spread of infection, the LGU announced that there will be no issuance of health declaration forms during Saturdays starting on Dec. 5 to give the health workers time to give attention to other equally important functions especially in helping the contact tracing teams in the municipality. Residents who intend to travel on Saturdays and Sundays should obtain their health declaration forms on the weekend prior to their travel.
The LGU will also close the municipal public market and its premises including the slaughter compound and the Cervantes Road every Sunday for disinfection and decontamination measures.
Market schedule will be implemented in the municipality effective Dec. 7 as follows: Monday- Barangays Balili and Tabio; Tuesday- Bulalacao and Colalo; Wednesday- Guinaoang and Taneg; Thursday-Suyoc and Bedbed; Friday: Poblacion and Cabiten. and Saturday- Paco and Sapid.
Ayong also extended the lockdown imposed in Sitio Marivic, Barangay Sapid and the entire Barangay Paco for 10 more days following the Enhanced Community Quarantine guidelines until Dec. 7 as advised by the municipality’s medical and contact tracing team. The lockdown was issued on Nov. 20 due to the sudden surge of COVID-19 cases.
Ayong directed the mining company last week to come up with possible alternative work schedule to minimize exposure of more mine workers and other measures for the company to cope with the increasing cases.
The local chief executive also is looking forward to the request for mass testing to be conducted in the municipality thru the National Task Force against the COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Governor Melchor Diclas said in a press briefing that the provincial government already provided 50 cavans of rice for those affected by the COVID-19 in the mining community of Lepanto in Mankayan.
Ayong added that while the joint forces of the government and the mining company are undertaking containment and remedial measures, the public is asked to continue cooperating with the authorities. (JDP/RMC- PIA CAR)
By Redjie Melvic Cawis