April 20, 2024

Although the Covid-19 tally in the last weeks of 2021 showed a promising downtrend, the Department of Health has asked the public to remain cautious as the threat of the Omicron variants continues to hound governments worldwide.
Before 2021 ended, the DOH issued an advisory reminding stakeholders of the mitigation strategies and intensify the implementation of health protocols to ward off possible community transmission of the Omicron variant.
“Many countries with high vaccination coverage are experiencing exponential increase in cases due to the Covid-19 Omicron variant. As part of our preparations, stakeholders are enjoined to strengthen implementation of existing polices on Covid-19 response and vaccination,” the advisory issued on Dec. 28, 2021 stated.
During the issuance of the advisory, four cases of the Omicron variant were detected in the country.
Among other things, the DOH asked local government units to reorient community leaders and health workers on the basics of Covid-19 response to enable them to answer questions and provide support to citizens more responsively.
It reminded LGUs to closely monitor adherence to home quarantine and isolation protocols, operationalize telemedicine services and widely disseminate contact details to the communities, and conduct house-to-house vaccination among the senior citizens and people with comorbidities.
The DOH also reminded establishments’ owners and those overseeing public spaces to ensure that 100 percent primary vaccination and booster shots among their workers especially those under the A2 and A3 categories and strictly enforce the minimum health protocols, including adherence to the maximum space occupancy and adequate ventilation and promoting the use of outdoor spaces as much as possible.
Establishments were also encouraged to allot bike lanes and provide rakes for those using bicycles as a mode of transportation.
Administrators of workplaces were also reminded to undertake active surveillance, such as conduct of RT-PCR or antigen test among employees that are on a higher risk of acquiring the Covid-19 because of the nature of their jobs.
Covid-19 cases and deaths in the last two weeks of 2020 in the Cordillera have been on the downtrend.
From Dec. 19 to 29, 2021, the highest number of new cases recorded in the region was the 20 posted on Dec. 28.
The number of deaths ranged from one to five. The highest number of deaths recorded was in Dec. 22 with 18 with Kalinga accounting for 16.
In Baguio, the Covid-19 tally consistently recorded a single digit to zero new cases and no deaths, except one on Dec. 22.
The highest number of new cases was the 15 recorded on Dec. 28, 2021 which went down to five on Dec. 29.
Health experts continue to warn the public to remain cautious despite the downtrend in cases as the threat of Omicron variant lurks and since information about the variant is limited except that the World Health Organization declared it to be highly transmissible than the Delta variant that has also overwhelmed health care systems around the world. – Jane B. Cadalig