December 8, 2022

The strict implementation of minimum public health protocols in Benguet should be enforced by the municipal and barangay local government units.
This is the sentiment of the Benguet Provincial Health Board, as the province is experiencing a surge in Covid-19 cases.
Benguet General Hospital Chief, Dr. Meliarazon Dulay, during the latest Provincial Inter-Agency Task Force meeting, urged the LGUs in the province to implement stricter observance of the minimum public health protocols and guidelines.
Dulay said the province’s health care system is already overwhelmed, as the healthcare workers are also getting infected and contact-traced resulting in weakened manpower.
“We see here that the action should lie at the community-level so that our cases would decrease, since our facilities are already full,” Dulay said.
Around 18 healthcare workers to include doctors, nurses who underwent quarantine due to their exposure to the virus.
She said even the hospital’s supplies such as oxygen and medicines being depleted due to shortage being experienced by the suppliers.
Out of 150-bed capacity of BeGH, 111 were dedicated for Covid-19 patients while the remaining beds are for emergency cases like birthing.
Dulay said the LGUs should strictly monitor the various business establishments to adhere to the limited number of customers and implementation of health protocols. 
Also, to be monitored are the conduct of wakes and burials for non-Covid-19 deaths where it should be attended by immediate family only as well as religious activities.
She said the strict monitoring of people’s movement should also be implemented especially from the vulnerable sector like the senior citizens and children. 
Benguet has already recorded around 10 Delta cases.
“Since we are reverted back to GCQ, it should be a means to decrease our cases if the health protocols will be properly implemented by the LGU,” she said. 
Dulay is also seeking the help of local officials to instruct their respective police forces to assist contact tracers when individuals identified as contacts of Covid patients refused to cooperate. The Philippine National Police will assist contract tracers if needed.
“That is why we are asking help from the mayors since they are the ones who could give orders to the local police force. It’s not that they are not doing anything but we need to be more vigilant especially these days. We were able to lessen the cases before and we could do it again,” she said.
Benguet recorded 10,880 Covid-19 cases with 364 deaths. – Ofelia C. Empian