February 9, 2023

Benguet is preparing more isolation facilities in partnership with concerned agencies following the surge in Covid-19 cases in the province, particularly from Itogon.

Gov. Melchor Diclas said the province together with the local government units of Itogon and Tuba have coordinated with the national government through its “Oplan Kalinga” program, the Department of Health, Office of the Civil Defense, and the City of Baguio for the establishment of more isolation facilities.

The 76-bed capacity Venus Dormitory located at T. Alonzo Street in Baguio is the latest isolation facility to be used for asymptomatic patients from Benguet.

The funding for the dorm will be handled by Oplan Ka-linga, a government program that seeks to provide isolation and quarantine facilities for possible and confirmed Covid-19 patients from cities and municipalities that can no longer provide the same for their constituents.

The personnel and 20 nurses to be stationed at the dorm will come from DOH while the municipal and the provincial health offices will identify the asymptomatic patients to be admitted. The PHO will also provide an on-call doctor for the facility.

Coordination is also ongoing for use of the Concordia College of Benguet in La Trinidad, which could accommodate 80 to 100 patients.

The current isolation facilities in the province are the Benguet General Hospital with 44 beds; Atok District Hospital with 10 beds; Itogon District Hospital with eight beds; Northern Benguet District Hospital in Buguias with two beds; and the Dennis Molintas Memorial Hospital in Bokod with 10 beds.

The BeGH extension facility, the 24-bed Benguet State University dorm, is already full.

The mining companies in Itogon and Tuba are also coordinating with the province and have put up their own isolation facilities for affected employees and their families.

Data from the Provincial Health Office shows that as of Nov. 4, the province has 817 active cases admitted in various isolation facilities, and hospitals while the others are under home quarantine.

Itogon has the highest number of cases with 513, of which 427 are active cases, 82 recoveries and four deaths; La Trinidad has 450 with 105 active cases, 340 recoveries, and five deaths; while Tuba has 315 cases with 260 active cases and 55 recoveries.

Benguet has 1,441 confirmed cases with 610 recoveries and 14 deaths. 

Aggressive mass testing, as requested by the Regional Inter Agency Task Force- Cordillera, was conducted on Nov. 5 and 6 with La Trinidad having 1,000 tests; Itogon with 2,000; and Tuba with 1,000 tests. – Ofelia C. Empian