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Tabuk declared under total lockdown due to Covid-19 surge

BARANGAY MEETING. Barangay chairs meet with Tabuk leaders led by mayor Darwin Estranero and health officials led by Dr. Henrietta Bagayao Tuesday to discuss city health issues due to the surge of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). The city is expected to be declared under lockdown either on Sunday or Monday (January 24 or 25) so that health workers and the administration will be able to plot strategies to cope up with the problem. Kalinga has the third most number of Covid cases at 1,007, 487 from Tabuk City alone, behind Baguio and Benguet. Photo from Tabuk City Kalinga Facebook page

The city of Tabuk will be declared under total lockdown starting either on Monday or Sunday (January 24 and 25) for 14 days.

In an announcement Thursday, January 21, Tabuk Mayor Darwin Estranero made the declaration after the advice of the city’s doctors association and City Health Officer Dr. Henrietta Bagayao.

In her January 21 letter to Estranero, Bagayao 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 speciments.”

The advice was taken into consideration during the January 21 of the city’s Inter-Agency Task Force meeting which then called for the total lockdown that will last for 14 days.

In his post, Estranero said: “Today, January 21, our health sector which includes the private hospital association thru Dr. Henry (Henrietta) Bagayao made a call for a total lockdown in our beloved city.”

Estranero said the call for lockdown was made due to the “upsurge of covid (Coroinavirus disease) cases not only in our city but throughout the province as well.”

Etranero 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).”

Due to this, the mayor said that the city’s health service “is slowly being overwhelmed.”

Estranero said that the closure of the capital city will be effective as late as Monday “considering that other sectors and municipalities shall first be informed…”

Estranero beseeched his constituents to abide by the declaration as they need to “abide by the call of our health sector as they are more knowledgeable on how to confront public health related issues.”

He further said: “Idaw dawat ko ti kooperasyon ti tumunggal maysa nga kailyan ta agkaykaysa tayo kadi nga agtitinnulong ng mang paksyat iti dayoty nga Covid 19 virus (I am asking everyone to cooperate and that we unite and help each other in stopping this Covid 19).”

He added: “Awan ti sabali nga makatulong katadatayo no haan nga datayo met laeng (No one can help us but only ourselves).”

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.

Kalinga has the third most number of active cases with 353 compared to Baguio’s 464 and Benguet’s 384.

Mountain Province is fourth with 337, while Ifugao has 109, even as Apayao and Abra has 23 and 17 each.

Of the 10,582 recorded cases in the region, about 10 percent are from Kalinga or 1,007, the third most in the region with nearly half coming from Tabuk City (487). Baguio (4,599) and Benguet (3,914) have more cases than the province.

Mountain Province, the last province to log its first is now fourth with 536, Ifugao is fourth with 252, while Abra, the first to report a case, is sixth with 16, while Apayao has the least with 113.

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