Pangasinan eyes COVID-19 free status
ONLY 42 ACTIVE CASES REMAINING
PANGASINENSES can finally heave a sigh of relief as COVID-19 with only 42 active COVID-19 cases to contend with this week ahead, with hopefully no new cases.
From 85 active cases registered last December 2, the number of active cases in Pangasinan further dropped to 42 a week later on December 9, health officials are optimistic that if the trend continues, the province will have a big chance of attaining the status of COVID-19 free on or before the end of the year, one of the first few provinces to achieve it.
The 28 new confirmed cases and nine deaths were not only dwarfed by the 68 recoveries that were logged but by declaration of 24 towns and cities as COVID-19 free, leaving infection only in 23 towns and one city and in single digits.
Still under Alert Level 2 classification, Pangasinan may qualify to be downgraded to Alert Level 1 owing to reported infection in single digits, compared to more than 400 daily average during the COVID-19 surge in the third quarter this year, or more than 800 in one day in September.
Overall, the number of cases logged in the province since the start of the contagion on March 16, 2020 slightly rose to 35,508, with 34,253 had recovered but there were 1,213 deaths.
With just 42 remaining active cases, many of whom are asymptomatic and on home quarantine, Pangasinan can be classified as a low risk area.
Meanwhile, the Provincial Health Office (PHO) still placed 23 towns and one city under its watchlist.
Malasiqui is on top with four cases, followed by Bayambang, Mapandan and Sta. Barbara (3 cases each), Alcala, Anda, Basista, Bugallon, Mangaldan, Natividad, San Carlos City, San Quintin and Sison (2 each), and Asingan, Bani, Baustista, Burgos, Manaoag, San Fabian, San Nicolas, San Maria and Sto. Tomas (1 each). Dagupan, an independent component city of Pangasinan has 2.
COVID-19 free are Agno, Aguilar, Alaminos City, Alcala, Balungao, Binalonan, Bolinao, Calasiao, Infanta, Labrador, Laoac, Lingayen, Mabini, Mangatarem, Pozorrubio, Rosales, San Carlos City, San Jacinto, San Manuel, Sual, Umingan, Urbiztondo and Urdaneta City
Pangasinan continues to ramp up its vaccination program with 36 percent of its eligible population already fully vaccinated while 67 percent have taken the first dose of the vaccine.
But officials said the Omicron variant still hovers over the horizon as 57 countries are already hit by the new variant, there should still be no room for complacency.
It urges residents to continue wearing face masks and practice the minimum health protocols, including social distancing. (Leonardo Micua)
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