June 20, 2024

The Department of the Interior and Local Government-Cordillera  urged local government units in the region to strengthen existing precautionary measures, ramp up vaccination, including boosters, to prevent possible surge of the Covid-19 Omicron variant.

“We are urging our LGUs to strengthen their existing precautionary measures and strategies on the possibility of local transmission of the Covid-19 Omicron variant following the reports from the Department of Health of the possibility of a fifth wave in South Africa due to an increase in the Covid-19 Omicron variant of concern sublineages BA.4 and BA.5,” said Director and Regional Inter-Agency Task Force on Covid-19 Chairperson Araceli San Jose.

Citing a letter sent by DOH to DILG Usec. for Operations Epimaco Densing III, San Jose said the rising cases of Covid-19 in other parts of the world may have an impact on the country’s Covid-19 situation prompting the need for LGUs to strengthen their Covid-19 efforts .

San Jose said local task forces against Covid-19 should evaluate and strengthen the implementation of minimum public health standards even in areas under Alert Level 1.

“Cordillera LGUs should also establish, augment, and preposition systems, equipment, and personnel for referral, emergency, and possible surge response and encourage adoption of related measures such as ventilation by private business within jurisdiction,” she said.

She also emphasized the importance of LGUs strengthening their surveillance activities and reporting to the DOH Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit any rapid increases in cases or hospitalization observed in their areas.

The DILG Cordillera being the co-chair of the regional vaccination operations center has urged the LGUs and the public to continue supporting the vaccination program of the national government.

During the CODE Team Roadshow on March 11 in Baguio, the national government together with DILG, Office of Civil Defense, and DOH-Cordillera regional executives urged the local chief executives and other functionariesto persuade their constituents to undergo vaccination and emphasize that vaccines are safe and effective and prioritizing public safety and health is a must.

Based on the May 11 DOH Regional Covid-19 Case Bulletin, 79.19 percent of the 80 percent target population in the region had been fully vaccinated, with 90.06 percent coverage of the target A2 population translating to 1,173,465 fully vaccinated individuals and 290,340 receiving booster/additional doses of vaccines. – Pamela Geminiano