BENGUET Governor Melchor Diclas is eyeing a request for the issuance of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) status in light of the rapidly increasing incidence of COVID-19 in the province.
As of Thursday, September 16, Benguet has breached the 2,000 mark with 2,076 active COVID-19 cases, according to data from the Department of Health- Cordillera (DOH-CAR).
Thursday’s daily rate also reached 376 cases, the highest daily COVID-19 count for the province, bringing the province to the 11,000 mark with a total of 11,009 cases.
At the same time, the Benguet General Hospital (BeGH) is completely full to 100 percent capacity, according to Diclas.
Diclas reiterated the tightened restrictions in place in Benguet such as the reduction to 30 percent capacity in operating personal care establishments and religious establishments, as well as the ban on social events and gatherings in addition to a total liquor ban in the province.
Local officials are also monitoring mass gatherings in the barangays, especially drinking activities which have been identified as a cause of clustering of cases within the households and among families.
Other measures are also in place in Benguet, such as the requirement of reverse transcriptase – polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests at its borders. Still, the province is eyeing even more measures to lower the incidence of cases in the area.
Diclas also announced a restriction on wakes for non-COVID-19 deaths, limiting attendance to only immediate family members, while COVID-19 casualties can only have wakes after the 14 day quarantine of close contacts of the deceased have taken place.
Workplaces in the province are also being asked to come up with work arrangements that would enable less crowding and close contact among workers.
Diclas is also eyeing the return of market scheduling in the province to further arrest the spread of COVID-19.