President Rodrigo Duterte has issued new quarantine classifications in various regions in the country, placing Ifugao under modified enhanced community quarantine along with three other areas from May 15 to 31.
MECQ is the second strictest form of quarantine classification in the country.
Benguet and Apayao, meanwhile, reverted to GCQ five days after they were placed under MECQ, supposedly in effect from May 10 to 23.
Ifugao registered the first B1351 variant of concern case in the Cordillera.
A team from the Department of Health recently visited the province to assess their Covid-19 response as records show that cases in the province has steadily been on the rise.
For April and May alone, cases have reached hundreds in one day: April 4 – 167; April 13 – 170; April 15 – 150; April 17 – 156; April 19 – 114; April 22 – 133; April 26 – 102; April 29– 146; May 3 – 143; and May 9 – 120.
In areas under MECQ, those allowed to go out are only those aged 18 to 65 who need to get essential goods and services, those working in allowed industries as well as authorized persons outside residence. Limited outdoor exercises are allowed like walking, jogging, and biking. Curfew is strictly implemented and mass gatherings are highly restricted.
In MECQ areas, public transport is limited, areas for recreation and tourism are barred from operating, inter and intra-border travels are limited, face-to-face classes are suspended, and office work is limited to skeleton workforce and the rest of the employees are encouraged to work from home.
The Department of Health has consistently classified the Cordillera under “high risk” in terms of average daily attack rate (ADAR).
Last week, the Cordillera registered a 16 percent ADAR and as of May 11, the region registered an 11 percent ADAR.
DOH-CAR Asst. Director Amelita Pangilinan said since last year, the region has consistently been in the top 10 of regions with the most number of Covid-19 cases.
As of May 11, Cordillera has recorded a total of 33,206 cases; 2,907 or 8.75 percent are active; 29,755 or 89.61 percent already recovered, and 538 or 1.62 percent have died.
The most affected age groups are those who belong to the 21 to 40 age group of which 50.72 percent of affected individuals are females.
Majority of the cases are mild with 1,485 or 51.08 percent, followed by asymptomatic with 1,105 or 38.01 percent, 253 moderate cases, eight severe, 37 critical, and the status of the remaining 19 active cases are for verification.
“As the number of cases continues to rise and new variants of the virus make their way into our country, our request to the public remains – we ask everyone to stay alert and to abide by the rules and policies set by our government – these include limiting unnecessary travel, following quarantine and isolation protocols, and practicing the minimum public health standards,” Pangilinan said.
She said cases in areas where there is a shortage of beds, oxygen, medicines, and available hospitals should make the public realize the importance of taking these rules and policies seriously. – Rimaliza A. Opiña