Issue of September 20, 2020
Mt. Province

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Benguet eyes building more isolation facilities in towns
by Ofelia C. Empian

ISOLATION FACILITY -- Nurses and doctors are at work at the 20-bed capacity temporary treatment and monitoring facility in Wangal, La Trinidad, Benguet which is one of the isolation facilities. Governor Melchor Diclas has urged the 13 municipal governments to set up their own isolation facilities especially with the planned opening of tourism later this year. -- Ofelia Empian

Benguet aims to set up more isolation facilities in the 13 towns in preparation for the opening of its tourism activities anytime soon.

Gov. Melchor Diclas said the isolation facilities is part of the Covid - 19 response of the province as talks for the opening of tourism are intensified. 

“Not all towns have their own isolation facility but the Department of Public Works and Highways has allotted around P43 million for the construction of isolation facilities from La Trinidad to Mankayan,” he said.

Diclas has urged the municipal governments to fast track the construction of these facilities ahead of the reopening of the towns’ borders to tourists.

He said the Covid-19 cases in the province are still manageable and the patients are mostly asymptomatic and exhibiting mild symptoms. He added the respirators at the Benguet General Hospital are rarely used to treat infected patients.

“Ideally, there should be an isolation facility per town in case someone turned out positive. There is high recovery for most patients but the problem is if the asymptomatic patients would infect those who are immunocompromised and that’s what we are trying to prevent,” Diclas said.

The Benguet General Hospital remains the primary isolation facility for the province with a 40-bed capacity for confirmed cases.

The other two provincial isolation facilities are the evacuation center in Wangal, La Trinidad which was converted into a 20-bed isolation facility and the newly-opened Benguet State University dormitory with 24 beds.

The Department of Health has already accredited the BSU dorm and was given a license to operate.

Diclas said the opening of the Benguet molecular laboratory next month would also boost the preparedness of the province for the influx of tourists.

As of Sept.16, there are 229 total confirmed cases in the province with 41 active cases, 186 total recoveries, two deaths and 3,796 total suspected cases.

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