February 22, 2024

The Benguet Provincial Inter-Agency Task Force is addressing the sudden surge in Covid-19 cases in the province after 93 cases were recorded Oct. 22, the highest number of infections in a day since the pandemic.

A report from the Benguet Public Information Office revealed that most of the infected individuals are from Itogon with 74 cases, La Trinidad with 14, Sablan and Tuba with two cases each, and one from Sablan.

Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan said the 74 individuals infected in the municipality are from densely-populated mining camps.

“We highly suspect that transmission happened inside bunkhouses of several mining companies since infected individuals are mostly miners with their family members living with them,” Palangdan said.

Another possible cause of transmission might be from individuals who underwent RT-CPR testing but did not follow quarantine procedures such as going in and out of their residences while waiting for their swab results.

“It was already too late. When the result came out (that they are positive of the infection), they have already infected others,” he said. 

The mayor has ordered a lockdown at Luneta, Loacan; Sangilo, Poblacion; Balatoc, Virac; and eastern Saddle, Ampucao to allow contact tracing and other measures to contain transmission.

Benguet Gov. Melchor Diclas has called for an emergency meeting at the Itogon town hall attended by representatives from the Provincial Health Office and the Department of Health-Cordillera in a bid to arrest the further surge in Covid-19 cases in the municipality.

The Benguet PIO, meanwhile, reported that the other Covid-19 cases recorded on Oct. 22 are from barangays Ambiong, Bahong, Betag, Pico, Balili, Poblacion, and Puguis in La Trinidad; Camp 3 in Tuba; Sebang and Abatan in Buguias; and Poblacion, Sablan.

One death was also recorded on Oct. 22 involving a 67-year-old patient from Buguias, who had history of electrolyte imbalance and diabetes.

As of Oct. 22, Benguet has 714 total confirmed cases with 378 recoveries and nine deaths. – Ofelia C. Empian