Slight surge in COVID-19 cases not cause for alarm — IATF

COVID-19 cases are again on the rise in Pangasinan but the situation remains manageable unlike the current surge being experienced by the National Capital Region.

Speaking during the Question Hour of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) on March 22, Rhodyn L. Oro of the provincial Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), said there is no cause for alarm since most of the patients are asymptomatic or manifesting mild symptoms.

Citing figures on March 19 to 21 culled from the monitoring of the Provincial Health Office (PHO, that showed the average surge of cases was 43, Oro said there is no need to ask for a higher quarantine classification.

He told the provincial board that the number of active COVID-19 cases as of March 21 was only 217 and the occupancy rate of the 2,024 isolation units in the province is only 30 percent.

On the concern of Fourth District Board Member Jeremy Agerico Rosario if the surge of cases in the National Capital Region and provinces adjacent to it could spill over to Pangasinan since proofs of travel and health requirements have been waived by Executive Order No’s. 101 and 104 of the national IATF-EID, Oro expressed doubts as the border control points in 20 areas remain in place.

When Rosario suggested the reinstatement of the requirements for travelers like a travel permit and medical certificate as a precaution against further upsurge of COVID-19 cases, Oro explained the objectives of the two E.O. which is to strike a balance between economy and health and safety measures.

Meanwhile, P/Col. Ronald Gayo, police provincial director, has asked for the reinstatement of medical personnel that were pulled out several months ago to help enforce health and safety protocols among travelers and visitors.

On the roll out of vaccines, Oro said that the provincial government’s P44.5 million fund is on standby for the purchase of vaccines for those that cannot not be covered by the supply from the Department of Health. (Leonardo MIcua)

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