BAGUIO CITY -- Local government units in the Cordillera region are strongly urged to strengthen existing precautionary measures and other necessary strategies to prevent the possible surge of the COVID-19 Omicron variant in the region.
"We are urging our LGUs to strengthen their existing precautionary measures and strategies on the possibility of local transmission of the COVID-19 Omicron variant following reports from the Department of Health (DOH) of the possibility of a fifth wave in South Africa due to an increase in the COVID-19 Omicron variant of concern sublineages BA.4 and BA.5," Department of the Interior and Local Government Cordillera Regional Director and Regional Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 (RIATF) Chairperson Araceli San Jose said in a statement.
The rising cases of COVID-19 in other parts of the world may have impact on the country's current COVID-19 situation prompting the need for LGUs to strengthen their COVID-19 efforts, she said.
The Local Task Forces against COVID-19 from in the provincial and municipal level have to evaluate and strengthen the strict implementation of minimum public health standards even in areas under Alert Level 1.
She also emphasized the need for LGUs to strengthen their surveillance activities and reporting to the DOH Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit any rapid increase in cases or hospitalization observed in their areas.
“Our Cordillera LGUs should also establish, augment, and preposition systems, equipment, and personnel for referral, emergency, and possible surge response and encourage adoption of related measures such as ventilation by private business within jurisdiction", San Jose said.
San Jose also reiterated to the LGUs to continue their vaccination efforts as she appealed to the public to get vaccinated or get booster shots.
The DOH-CAR on April 27, 2022 reported the detection of the Omicron-BA.2.12 in the region involving a 52-year-old Finnish female who travelled to Baguio City to conduct seminars. The local epidemiology and surveillance unit performed contact tracing and fortunately, no one was infected. The case has recovered and returned home.
Meanwhile, the DOH-CAR also continue to encourage the public to continue the practice of the COVID-19 health and safety protocols as COVID-19 cases still being recorded in the Cordillera.
As of May 19, 2022, there are six COVID-19 active cases in the region, five in Baguio City and onr in Mountain Province. The Cordillera region already recorded 118,154 COVID-19 cases with 115,487 patients who recovered and 2,637 deaths. (JDP/RMC- PIA CAR)