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Kalinga starts 14-day community quarantine

BARANGAY MEETING. Tabuk mayor Darwin Estranero on Sunday met with barangay captains of the city on how they will work together during the two week enhanced community quarantine in the city to stop the spread of the Covid-19. Photo from Tabuk City Kalinga Facebook page

The city of Tabuk started its 14 day enhanced community quarantine today, January 25, even as the province’s seven towns are also declared under various forms of community quarantine in an effort by the provincial government to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

In a public advisory by Gov. Ferdinand Tubban posted over Facebook last Saturday, January 23, the capital city will be on a 14-day ECQ, while the towns of Rizal, Lubuagan, Tanudan and Balbalan are placed under modified ECQ.

The municipalities of Pasil and Tinglayan are under general CQ, even as the town of Pinukpuk will be placed under modified GCQ.

Tubban in his directory said: “The areas were classified following the Containment Strategy Matrix by NTF MC 2 series of 2020 and area Health Risk Level Matrix.”

In declaring Tabuk under ECQ, only public and private hospitals as well as health, emergency and frontline services, including those provided by dialysis centers and the like.

Also allowed to operate full capacity are industries involved in agriculture, forestry, and fishery and their workers, including farmers, Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries, fisher folks, and agri-fishery stores, and components of the food value chain.

Delivery and courier services, transporting food, medicines, or other essential goods, including clothing, accessories, hardware, housewares, school and officie supplies, as well as pet food and other veterinary products can also operation full capacity.

Those allowed to operate 50 percent capacity are private establishments involved in the provision of essential goods and services , public markets and supermarkets, grocery stores, food preparation establishments, water refilling stations and media establishments.

Persons 18 years and younger as well as 65 years and older are required to stay home at all times, as well as those with immunodeficiency, comorbidity or other health risks, pregnant women and lactating mothers.

On Sunday, mayor Darwin Estranero met with the barangay captains of the city to discuss on how they would proceed during the two week ECQ that will end on February 7.

“We are expecting all the barangays to put up their respective checkpoints in their areas of jurisdictions,” Estranero was quoted as saying in a city release.

Estranero added that people for other towns to enter the city will be required to have travel pass and certification stating that there not close contacts of confirmed or possible Covid-19 cases.

Each barangay will use their calamity funds for food assistance and if depleted, the city and provincial governments will assist them.

Last January 21, Estranero eyed the declaration of a total lockdown of the city per advice of the city’s doctors association and City Health Officer Dr. Henrietta Bagayao.

Bagayao in her January 21 letter to Estranero wrote: “it is highly recommended that a lockdown will be implemented in the city as soon as possible.”

The lockdown, the CHO added is “to limit the movement of people to prevent the spread of the virus and expand health system capacity because there is already an over-lapping of contact tracing activities and BGH (Baguio General Hospital Medical Center) has an advisory to prioritize clients for RT-PCR because of infected personnel and overwhelming number of specimens.”

Estranero said that Tabuk City has 200 cases alone “and there are yet a couple of a hundred samples awaiting results and more are expected to come as the movement of our people are dangerously unmitigated due to the lack of discipline to some, the non-belief to the virus of some and to the total indifference of many kakailyans (townsmates).”

On Thursday, the Department of Health Cordillera reported that of the 94 new Covid-19 cases, more than half or 50 came from Kalinga. In comparison, Benguet and Ifugao has 16 cases each, while Baguio accounted for 10. There were two cases reported in Mountain Province.

As of January 24, Kalinga has the third most number of active cases with 396 compared to Baguio’s 476 and Benguet’s 341.

Of the 10,979 recorded cases in the region, about 10 percent are from Kalinga or 1,070, the third most in the region with nearly half coming from Tabuk City (487 as of January 21). Baguio (4,727) and Benguet (3,994) have more cases than the province.

Mountain Province, the last province to log its first is now fourth with 616, Ifugao is fourth with 270, while Abra is sixth with 176, while Apayao has the least with 126.

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