TO get an inkling on how the Delta variant would eventually hit Baguio, look at what’s happening to Apayao.
The remote province is the first in the region to host the dreaded variant detected in a woman, a resident of Pudtol, one of the far villages of Apayao, last August 6.
On August 12, two more patients, again from Apayao, were detected with the Delta variant by the Philippine Genome Center.
As a result, active cases in the past two weeks rose higher in sparsely populated Apayao than the more densely populated city of Baguio.
As of Friday, the number of active cases in Apayao was 574, according to the Department of Health Cordillera.
That of Baguio was pegged at 387.
Last Thursday, Apayao registered the highest number of new cases ever recorded in the province at 125.
The town of Luna had half of the cases at 59 while Pudtol had 25 and Sta. Marcela had 23.
On Friday, the province had again recorded 67 cases, the highest in the region.
Apayao, however, still has to breach the 3,000-mark with a total number of COVID cases at 2,974.
Baguio remains on top with a total case of 16,068 and Benguet with 10,337.
The Apayao Provincial Inter-Agency Task Force(PIATF) has placed the municipality of Pudtol under Enhanced Community Quarantine effective August 6, 2021, after the detection of a COVID-19 Delta variant case in the area.
Governor Eleanor Bulut-Begtang said that the Delta variant case, a 22-year-old woman from Pudtol, is already fully recovered.
The PIATF received notification from the Philippine Genome Center on August 6, 2021, that a specimen from Apayao that was submitted to the PGC last month tested positive for the Delta variant.
The woman, who manifested symptoms, tested positive for COVID-19 in the rapid antigen test on July 14 which was confirmed by an RT- PCR test on July 15. The patient was isolated and was tagged as recovered on July 26, 2021.
Begtang said the situation is under control. “Rest assured that the PIATF and the Pudtol MIATF shall continue to work jointly to address and manage this situation,” the governor said during the emergency meeting.
To ensure protection from the Delta variant, the Provincial Health Office is now undertaking the needed actions such as another round of contact tracing. Mass testing shall also be undertaken.
The PIATF earlier issued additional entry protocols with the province placed under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine for the month of August.
The governor continues to remind the public to be more vigilant and to consistently observe the prescribed health protocols especially staying at home unless for essential purposes and emergency situations, social distancing, and practice of proper hygiene at all times.
Together we shall overcome this unfortunate incident. Together we shall heal as one,” the governor said.