February 9, 2023

Mountain Province, the last province to record its first Covid-19 case in the Cordillera, has registered its first death due to the virus last week ending months of being able to keep the pandemic at bay and with an advice from the provincial government to its people outside the province to postpone plans of coming home for the holidays.

The municipal government of Bontoc also placed its central barangays for Dec. 8 and lifted the same on Dec. 11.

The province recorded its first death on Dec. 5, a 71-year-old female from Chackong, Bontoc Ili in Bontoc who had a history of travel to Baguio City.

The patient was admitted at the SLU-Sacred Heart Hospital in Baguio City on Nov. 24 and discharged on Nov. 25.

However, she was again admitted at the Bontoc General Hospital on Dec. 3 and died on Dec. 5 due to acute respiratory failure secondary to Covid-19 associated with severe pneumonia and acute renal failure.

The patient was among the recent cases of the province, which include a 29-year-old male frontliner, who is asymptomatic, from Middle Sinto, Baukowith history of travel to Buyagan, on Nov. 25and Camp Bado Dangwa on Nov. 27, both in La Trinidad, Benguet; a 42-year-old male frontliner from Poblacion, Paracelis, asymptomatic, with a history of travel to Camp Dangwa on Nov. 16, 17, 22 and 23; a 52 year-old female teacher from Sac-angan, Upper Caluttit, Bontoc, who is experiencing colds which started on Dec. 2 and has a history of exposure to a confirmed case; a 28-year-old female frontliner with common cold which started Nov. 29with exposure to confirmed case who is her husband; a 60-year-old male laborer from Lanao, Bontoc Ili, who has cough which started on Nov. 29,with last exposure to a positive case (son) on Nov. 25; and a 57-year-old female vendor from Lanao, Bontoc Ili who has cough and common cold which started last Nov. 29, and who had last exposure to a positive case (son) on Nov. 25.

Mountain Province has a total of 56 cases as of Dec. 9.

Gov. Bonifacio Lacwasan Jr., chair of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, has advised the residents outside the province, particularly those in high-risk areas, to postpone their plans of coming home for the holidays. Those with essential travels that cannot be rescheduled are advised to secure a letter of acceptance from their respective municipal government units.

Those who still wish to come home are advised to submit to the mandatory 14-day quarantine by municipal Covid-19 task forces and all other impositions to curb the increase of cases.

“We ask for everyone’s understanding and cooperation on the strict observance of health protocols. We already have a death case and this should make everyone be more mindful of the local guidelines,” Lacwasan said in an advisory posted on Dec. 7. 

Bontoc Mayor Franklin Odsey issued Memorandum Order 78-2020 imposing lockdown over the central barangays of Bontoc Ili, Caluttit, Poblacion, and Samoki and lifted the same on Dec. 11. However, the house lockdown order over the residences of active Covid-19 cases remains in effect as of press time.

The PDRRMC repeated its appeal to constituents to continue keeping guards up by strictly observing health protocols.

“Let us not be complacent and treat the Covid-19 lightly. It is highly communicable. Should there be a surge in Covid-19 patients, the resources of the province and the medical facilities of BoGH will not be enough to address the needs of saidpatients and their medical personnel will be overwhelmed.

“Hence, we solicit your cooperation in stopping the spread or breaking the chain of transmission. We can do this by strictly observing the health protocols. Please treat the wearing of masks and face shields as seriously as the wearing of other protective gears like coats, bonnets and mufflers. Don’t treat personal protective equipment as if they are burdens or feel that the authorities are just requiring them to inconvenience us or to make us suffer. This is for our personal protection and those of others,” the PDRRMC said in a public advisory. – Hanna C. Lacsamana