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Tabuk wants seven day extension of ECQ as Covid cases rise

WAITING TO EHXALE. Dr. Henrietta Bagayao during Thursday’s city inter-agency task force meeting where she said that they can barely breathe with the number of Covid cases in the city. A seven day extension of the enhanced community quarantine starting February 8 has been requested by the CIATF and has been forwarded to the provincial and regional IATF for their consideration. Photo from Tabuk City Facebook Page

TABUK CITY, Kalinga- The City Inter-Agency Task Force seeks a seven day extension of the enhanced community quarantine in the capital city continue to rise.

This after Dr. Thelma Gaerlan of the Kalinga Medical Society has asked the CIATF the same with the 14-day ECQ ending this Sunday, February 7.

The doctor’s request for a seven day extension from February 8 until14 was unanimously approved by the members of the CIATF present which then forwarded same to the Provincial and Regional IATF for their approval.

Tabuk is the only local government unit in the region which was declared under ECQ, while the others including Baguio City are in a 28 day modified CQ until February 28.

The surge of Covid cases has prompted the CIATF, composed mostly of punong barangays, to hold an emergency meeting Thursday, February 4, to decide whether to extend the ECQ.

City Health Officer Dr. Henrietta Bagayao said that there a total of 669 confirmed cases in Tabuk as of February 2. She said that there are 254 active cases with 408 have recovered and six deaths, There are 459 swab samples that are awaiting results, she added.

“This is aside from dagijay macontact trace kadagijay barbaru nga close contacts. So kasla adtultuloy daytuy nu haan tayu agtitinnulong (This is aside the close contacts of the new cases. So it appears that this will [continue to rise] if we don’t help each other, ” she added.

The barangays with the most number of confirmed active cases are Bulanao Centro with 111 cases, Bulanao Norte with 28 cases, Agbannawag with 16 cases, Dagupan West with 11 cases, Bado Dangwa with 10 cases, and Dagupan Centro with 10 cases, she added.

Aside from these, Bagayao said that there are other barangays with active cases as well. Bagayao then asked for the cooperation of each barangay council to properly implement the guidelines of the ECQ so that the numbers would decrease.

“Haan kami makaanges payen [gapu] ti trabahu ngem anusan tayu (We barely can breathe, all we do is work, but then we have to be patient),” she bemoaned. She then said that due to the high numbers of active positive cases, all quarantine facilities of the City Local Government Unit (CLGU) are filled and that only St. Theresita’s School remains vacant but will be used as a quarantine facility for returning residents, whether local or abroad.

City Mayor Darwin Estrañero expressed alarm over the number of positive cases that even Covid testing centers are overwhelmed with increased swab test samples from different provinces.

“The only remedy is to extend (ECQ). Our contact tracers will not be able to finish their job of tracing close contacts of those who tested positive against those index cases,” the mayor said.

Meanwhile, Bagayao informed the PIATF that the Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTs) have been tapped to closely monitor close contacts of Covid-19 patients in Bulanao Norte and Bulanao Centro who are under home quarantine.

Dr. Bagayao said these close contacts are being kept on home quarantine for the meantime as the identified quarantine facilities – Southern Elementary School for Bulanao Centro and Bulanao Central School for Bulanao Norte – are still full.

City Public Information Officer Aurora Amilig said the CIATF has identified cemeteries in barangays Balong, Agbannawag, and Balawag as designated burial sites for Covid-19 related deaths.

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