December 7, 2023

The last few weeks of July have shown a sharp rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in the country with Cordillera having 251 confirmed cases with 119 active, 130 recoveries, and two deaths since March.
Of the 119 active cases as of July 30, 10 are from Abra, seven from Apayao, 50 from Baguio, 18 from Benguet, 12 from Ifugao, 18 from Kalinga, and four from Mountain Province, based on the record of the Department of Health-Cordillera.
The spike in cases has prompted local government units in the region to modify their community quarantine protocols, including tightening of border controls especially on the return of locally-stranded individuals.
In Abra, Gov. Jocelyn Bernos has suspended the issuance of travel permit for those who are planning to go out of the province beginning July 29 until further notice.
The Abra Provincial Hospital also stopped accepting patients from July 28 to 30 to give way to the hospital’s disinfection. Patient AC19 is an employee of said hospital.
In Baguio City, Mayor Benjamin Magalong has issued anew a liquor ban until Aug. 9, reverted to the twice a week mall and market schedule, ordered a lockdown of the city public market on Sundays for its weekly disinfection, and suspended worship services, in the meantime.
Screening of applications for issuance of permit for essential travel has also been tightened following reports of smuggling of tourists either by owners or drivers of private vehicles.
Magalong is also coordinating with the Liga ng mga Barangay for the disinfection of satellite markets.
In Mountain Province, Gov. Bonifacio Lacwasan has suspended work at the provincial Capitol from July 27 to Aug. 2 to hasten contact tracing and to disinfect offices.
Two employees of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office have recently been infected with the Covid-19.
In Ifugao, Gov. Jerry Dalipog has issued an advisory informing travelers coming in and out of the province to report to the municipal health offices for interview on travel history, undergo physical and laboratory exam, and a quarantine when necessary.
The DOH-Cordillera has attributed the increase in Covid-19 cases to the expanded testing being done by government and private laboratories.
As of July 28, the Philippines has recorded Covid-19 83,673, of which 55,109 are active cases, 26,617 recoveries, and 1,947 deaths.
Globally, the Philippines is ranked 28th in terms of the number of cases recorded. – Rimaliza A. Opiña