December 8, 2023

More frontline workers in Benguet have tested positive for Covid-19 following the expanded mass testing being conducted by the provincial government and Benguet General Hospital.

Gov. Melchor Diclas said the various local government units earlier gave a list of their frontline workers who are given priority for the expanded testing.

As of June 18, the province listed a total of 36 confirmed cases of which 26 are admitted at BeGH and various quarantine facilities while 10 have recovered from the infection. As of press time, 21 active cases are admitted at the BeGH.

“We have isolated the confirmed cases to contain the virus as most of them are asymptomatic,” Diclas said.

Those who have been infected are personnel of the police force, municipal employees, health workers, farmers and those belonging to the vegetable sector.

The cases were recorded in Bakun, Bokod, Buguias, Itogon, La Trinidad, Mankayan, Tuba, and Sablan.

In La Trinidad, five individuals tested positive for Covid-19 on June 17, which include three police officers, a municipal health worker, and a student. 

Three of the five cases who recovered on June 17 have been delisted in the La Trinidad cases after they were found to be residents of other municipalities. The LGU did not reveal where the three, two police personnel, and one student are residing.  

Mayor Romeo Salda has placed the La Trinidad municipal hall on lockdown starting June 18 until further notice to pave way for contact tracing and disinfection of the area.

The Municipal Inter-agency Task Force has decided that there will be no skeleton workforce for the safety of employees and instead activated the municipal Covid-19 hotlines 620-5907 or 0998-389-6028 for emergency and important transactions.

Various sitios, barangay halls, and health centers in La Trinidad were also locked down to facilitate tracing of the contacts of the frontline workers who either reside in these areas or have been in contact with personnel from these communities.

Bakun has listed on June 14 its first positive case involving a 49-year-old-male farmer from Sitio Dada, Poblacion while Bokod, Buguias, and Tuba listed two each confirmed cases. Itogon has four cases while Mankayan and Sablan recorded one case each.

Earlier, three individuals working as truck driver from Tuba and two helpers from La Trinidad tested positive of Covid-19. Contact tracing were conducted at the various trading centers where the individuals went and no additional positive cases were recorded.

Diclas said with the increasing cases among frontline workers and traders, there is a need to strengthen the implementation of health protocols and monitoring of those working in the vegetable industry.

He said the “no touchdown” policy for truckers must be properly implemented along with requiring truckers to have their personnel keep a logbook for their drivers and helpers.

“They should also let their personnel rest because a weak immune system is one of the causes of infection, so rest must be a priority for the frontliners, traders, and farmers,” he said. – Ofelia C. Empian