December 7, 2022

Benguet continues to appeal to the national Inter-Agency Task Force to revert to general community quarantine as Covid-19 cases in the province have declined the past weeks.

Gov. Melchor Diclas said the provincial IATF hopes the province will be placed under GCQ after June 15.  

He said the national IATF should take into account the situation of businesses and establishments in the province, which are greatly affected by the imposition of MECQ.

“If the MECQ status will be extended again, our people will be hard up.The national IATF should consider that the local government unit cannot provide the food for the public that’s why it needs to reconsider,” Diclas said.

On May 28, Diclas wrote IATF chair, Health Sec. Francisco Duque III requesting Benguet be placed under GCQ due to the decreasing trend in the average daily attack rate from May 18 to 31.

Diclas added there was also a decreasing trend in the number of new confirmed cases leading to the decline in bed occupancy in isolation facilities.

“The number of cases admitted in hospitals decreased compared to the previous two weeks when no beds were available (for admission). At present, there are 112 available beds in hospitals for Covid-19-related cases and only five ventilators are being used while there are still 11 available,” his letter read.

Diclas, during the provincial IATF meeting on June 3, said the 13 mayors have echoed his sentiment that their constituents are already complaining due to the impacts of MECQ restrictions in their livelihood.

Despite this, Benguet officials continue to encourage the public to continue following minimum health protocols and the guidelines set under MECQ.

As of June 2, the province logged 8,692 confirmed cases with 8,139 total recoveries, 344 active cases, and 209 deaths.   

Meanwhile, the provincial IATF has agreed to uniformly implement resolutions pertaining to Covid-19 response among the 13 municipalities.

The 13 mayors have agreed to be vaccinated in one setting at the Benguet General Hospital while all punong barangays are also encouraged to follow suit.

Benguet’s vaccine utilization rate is at 96 percent.

The province has vaccinated a total of 4,256 individuals with Sinovac and 4,249 with AstraZeneca for the first dose and 3,919 for Sinovac and 29 for AstraZeneca for the second dose. – Ofelia C. Empian