Governor Melchor Diclas said the provincial government sent a letter addressed to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, chairperson of the National Interagency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, appealing that the community classification of Benguet will revert back to General Community Quarantine (GCQ) for the month of June.
Unfortunately, the appeal was denied and MECQ or a stricter quarantine classification is again imposed in the entire province.
“We appealed that we be under GCQ dahill kapag MECQ walang retaurants, walang ibang mga activities kaya iniisip natin ang hanap buhay ng maraming tao,” Diclas said in press briefing following the Provincial IATF meeting on Thursday(June 3).
Diclas said Benguet now is on a downtrend on its COVID-19 cases compared to the previous months and this was stressed in the appeal sent to the National IATF on May 28.
He explained that the decreasing trend in the number of new confirmed cases in the province leads to the declining bed occupancy in isolation facilities and hospital utilization rate.
As of June 1, the Provincial Health Office reported a total of 8,664 COVID-19 cases recorded in the province with 8,101 recoveries or 94 percent while 355 are active cases (4 %) and 208 COVID-19 related deaths (2%).
From May 19 to June 1, the Average Daily Attack Rate is at 5.41 with a -41 percent 2-week Daily Growth Rate.
On the hospital utilization rate, Benguet is under low risk in terms of occupancy rate with 60% of the 125 hospital beds occupied. He added that the number of cases admitted in the hospital decreased compared to the previous two weeks when no beds were available for admission.
Among the LGUs in the Cordillera, the province of Benguet has a relatively high vaccine utilization rate of 96% based on allocation. The municipalities in the province have also requested 12,000 doses from the DOH this June 2021 as the demand for the vaccination has been increasing.
Despite the low cases, some municipal government units still opted to place their COVID-19 cases under home isolation which may have contributed to the decision placing Benguet under MECQ, Diclas said.
He appealed to the public to strictly comply with all the health protocols and all the restrictions provided under the MECQ guidelines. He stressed the strict adherence to the minimum public health standards such as wearing of masks and face shields, maintaining proper hygiene including frequent washing of hands, observing cough etiquette, avoiding crowded areas and mass gatherings and maintaining good health are the as it is the best defense Covid 19. (JDP/RMC- PIA-CAR)
By Redjie Melvic M. Cawis