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No mass gatherings in Abra; CAR logs record highest single day Covid cases

ABRA GOV. Ma. Jocelyn Bernos. Photo from her Facebook Page

As Covid-19 cases continue to rise in the Cordillera region during the Holy Week with the highest single day cases of 719 logged by the Department of Health – Cordillera from the six of the seven local government units excluding Abra on Black Saturday, a newly recovered Abra Gov. Ma. Jocelyn Bernos sent her appeal to all Abrenios to avoid mass gatherings.

Bernos expects people to have crowd drawing activities including the traditional activities in the province with the observance of the Holy Week banned for the meantime with the latest surge of Covid-19 cases observed not only in her province but also in other LGUs of the region.

She also made the call on the different municipal mayors and the barangay officials “to ensure that all mass gathering in their respective localities should be prevented and stopped such as the traditional family and community activities and picnics along the rivers being done during the Holy Week in Abra.”

Bernos also asked the Philippine National Police to for the assistance of its personnel in the 27 municipalities to prevent such mass gathering activities.

The governor “explained that avoiding such gatherings, the people also are preventing the possible spread of the Covid-19 in the communities.”

The appeal came following the reported surge of Covid-19 cases in the province on April 1 62 cases were recorded, the highest single day logged in the province since the pandemic started.

With the 719 new cases, the region’s total confirmed cases rose to 21,614 of which more than 1,800 were logged during the first three days of the month-long extension of general community quarantine in the region.

Benguet had the most with 167, Ifugao broke the three figure number with 152, while Mountain Province and Kalinga logged 110 and 109, respectively.

In Baguio, after a record high of 225, cases “went down” to 129, while Apayao had the “lowest” with 52.

Meanwhile, the Baguio City Health Office said that reporting of new cases will be delayed due to volume of tests being done and the downscaling of operations at the molecular laboratory in the previous days.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong, who announced that he contracted the virus last April 2, said that contract tracing be revitalized due to surge in Covid-19 cases the past days.

He said that LGUs concentrate their effort only on first generation contracts of patients who are mostly household members, inefficient encoding system and insufficient number of contact tracer.

Contact tracing, the mayor said, should go beyond first generation and have an efficient encoding system for better recording and tracking.

“In the past, for one case, we had four contact tracers available to do the job but now it has been reversed. One contact tracer has to work on four cases and pressed for time, he cannot finish all in one day resulting to backlogs until he becomes overwhelmed,” he said.

With the surge of cases the past days, the Saint Louis Hospital of the Sacred Heart has announced that it could no longer admit Covid-19 patients.

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