December 4, 2022

Mayor Franklin Odsey of Bontoc, Mountain Province took to social media anew his appeal for residents to strictly abide by the minimum health protocols, as he and another mayor contracted the virus that causes the Covid-19 amidst the surge in cases.

In a post in the town’s Facebook account on March 26, Odsey has asked the public to take seriously the Department of Health’s strategies against the Covid-19 to mitigate the spread of the infection.

Odsey made the appeal a day after Mountain Province recorded 168 Covid-19 cases, the highest in a day so far for the Cordillera, with Bontoc recording 88 cases.

“We are all a witness that deaths due to the Covid-19 are real. We had no time, no space, and no moment to mourn. In as much as we want to be with the bereaved family and comfort them, we are prevented from doing so due to the pandemic,” Odsey said.

Odsey said reports from the provincial and municipal epidemiology surveillance units have shown there were clustering and sudden surge in Covid-19 cases in government offices in Bontoc. 

At the time of the posting, Odsey was in isolation at a hospital for contracting the Covid-19 for the second time. He was first infected in January.

“As an individual, as a family, and as a community, lets us all do our share to be part of the solution against our common enemy – the Covid-19. We have all proven through our innate value of og-ogfu (bayanihan) and panag-isakit isnan ib-a (malasakit) that we can curb the transmission of Covid-19,” Odsey said.

In Sagada, Mayor James Pooten, Jr., in a post at the town’s Facebook account also on March 26, announced he contracted the Covid-19. He is asymptomatic or does not have symptoms of the infection.

“I urge everyone to continue to observe the minimum public health standards and take the pandemic seriously. Let us take care of ourselves and each other,” Pooten appealed.

Sagada remains closed to tourists.

“This will remain in effect until all preparations for gradual reopening have concluded and until the situation resulting from recent surges in the number of Covid-19 positive individuals within the community has been addressed and brought down to a more manageable level,” the town’s advisory stated.

As of March 29, Mountain Province recorded 2,442 Covid-19 cases of which 618 are active and 36 have died, the third highest number of deaths next to Baguio City and Benguet. – Jane B. Cadaliga