More LGU isolation facilities needed – Provincial IATF

MORE isolation facilities in towns and cities should be opened to meet the continuous surge in the number of active COVID-19 cases in Pangasinan.

The alert was raised by Col. Rhodyn Luchinvar Oro of the Provincial Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Infectious Diseases (IATF) before the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) during their virtual session on October 7 where he said existing facilities are already occupied beyond their capacity.

Oro said the expected completion of the expansion of isolation facilities built by Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) at the premises of the Office of the Provincial Agriculture Office (OPAG) in Sta, Barbara  and at the Provincial Reformation Center (PRC) in Burgos town will serve as buffer zones to towns in central and western Pangasinan who can no longer accommodate cases.

Meanwhile, Oro said the province’s efforts at contact-tracing received positive rating from Dr. Rheuel Bobis, DOH Region 1 COVID-19 focal person, for having  “100 percent contact-traced all the COVID-19 positive individuals.”

He added that more aggressive contact-tracing will be done soon as the 805 newly hired contact tracers are deployed after their training under the auspices of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD).

Oro also revealed that the data at the Provincial Health Office (PHO) shows that those found positive for COVID-19 were close contacts of the original confirmed cases and Authorized Persons Outside of Residences (APOR).

He argued that the spike in cases could not be attributed solely to Locally Stranded Individuals (LSI) since the protocols are strictly followed: LSI who can not present certification of a negative RT-PCR test result is not allowed entry at the border until given a swab test showing negative result.

Oro, however, could not confirm suspicion raised by Fourth District Board Member Agerico Jeremy Rosario that community transmission of COVID-19 is happening as shown by the soaring number of active COVID-19 patients, most of whom are asymptomatic with no history of travel.

On the Sta. Barbara case, Oro, reported that 17 of the 29 barangays of Sta. Barbara, are already infected and had to be declared a critical zone and close monitoring by the Sta. Barbara IATF led by Mayor Joel de los Santos and the provincial IATF represented by Dr. Anna de Guzman, provincial health officer, and P/Colonel Redrico Maranan, police provincial director. (Leonardo Micua)

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