Mountain Province suspends work as Covid-19 cases double

Mountain Province suspends work as Covid-19 cases double

BAGUIO CITY – The provincial government of Mountain Province has suspended work for five days from Jan. 18 to 22 due to the surge of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases, which doubled in just a week.

Governor Bonifacio Lacwasan Jr. issued Memorandum Order 03-2021 suspending work at the provincial government to allow the disinfection of offices and for contact tracing among the close contacts of workers who tested positive of the virus.

Department of Health-Cordillera Administrative Region (DOH-CAR) tracker on Jan. 10 showed that Mountain Province recorded 197 total Covid-19 cases since March 2020. On Jan 17, the number increased by 52 percent recording a total of 374 cases.

Lacwasan said the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO), Provincial Health Office, the PLGU-Hospitals and the Provincial Security Services Offices shall maintain their operations during the one-week suspension so as not to compromise the delivery of basic services and the protection of the PLGU resources and premises.

The Provincial Governor’s Office will also maintain its skeletal workforce to address the pandemic and other essential concerns.

The governor also said the Provincial Budget Office, Provincial Accounting Office and the Provincial Treasury Office will adopt a suitable work arrangement for their respective personnel considering the closing of financial books and the deadlines set for financial reports.

Meanwhile, Sagada Mayor James Pooten Jr. has placed seven villages under granular lockdown from Jan. 17-19.

This is to fast-track the contact tracing as some residents of the said barangays were identified as close contacts of persons who tested positive of the disease from the towns of Bontoc and Sabangan, the mayor said.

Placed on lockdown are Barangays Aguid and Bangaan, as well as the Southern Zone of Sagada which covers the barangays of Anikleng, Suyo, Payag-eo, Nacagang, and Taccong.

Pooten said a negative antigen test result taken on the day of travel upon entry to Sagada for APORs (Authorized persons outside residence), police and military personnel, government employees on official business, and cargo and delivery personnel who are undergoing drop and go transactions, are now required at the entry point of the town.

He also said that returning residents will continue to follow the existing guidelines which include undergoing the mandatory 14-day quarantine and the RT-PCR test result that must be taken not more than five days prior to arrival.

Pooten said travelers coming from Bontoc are required to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine while regular workers from Bontoc are instructed to go on self-isolation. (PNA