June 24, 2024

The province of Benguet is currently crafting a transition plan for the shifting of its Covid-19 facilities and procedures towards the new normal.

Gov. Melchor Diclas said the Provincial Health Office is tasked to create the transition plan that would include the reverting of the provincial temporary treatment and monitoring facilities to its original use.

These facilities are the evacuation and training centers, both in Wangal, La Trinidad, which would then be used for its intended purpose. The evacuation center was earlier used to house Covid-19 positive patients while the training center was used as triage and quarantine area for returning Filipinos.

Diclas said they would no longer require returning Filipinos to undergo triage and quarantine due to the recent advisory of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.

He said OWWA allowed fully vaccinated Filipinos to enter the country provided they present a negative RT-PCR result taken within 48 hours before departure from the country of origin. They will no longer be required to undergo facility-based quarantine but must self-monitor for any Covid-19 symptoms for seven days.

Further, in the updated testing and quarantine protocols of the Inter-Agency Task Force, Filipinos who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or whose vaccination status cannot be independently validated should show a negative RT-PCR test result taken 48 hours before departure.

They will be the ones required to undergo facility-based quarantine until the release of a negative RT-PCR test taken on the fifth day from the date of arrival.

Diclas said with the lowering of Covid-19 cases in the province, the district and provincial hospitals would accommodate severe cases.

Home isolation is allowed for mild cases with the evaluation of the respective municipal health offices concerned.

But for the transition plan, the province is eyeing for one private room to be used for severe Covid-19 cases.

As of May 25, there are three active Covid-19 cases in the province with two in La Trinidad and one in Itogon. There are 27,781 confirmed cases, 26,891 recoveries and 887 deaths in the province since 2020.

The molecular laboratory would continuously be used for Covid-19 testing.

Diclas said the Benguet General Hospital is conducting Covid-19 testing for all patients admitted at the hospital. He said they would be tackling whether they would continue the Covid-19 testing of patients or not.

Diclas said some of the provincial personnel hired to assist for the Covid-19 response would also end until June this year. He said some of the staff will be retained, especially those who would be helping at the BeGH, but most personnel will not be rehired.

He said there were almost 100 personnel hired under the provincial government to help in the Covid-19 response. – Ofelia C. Empian