Wed, 01 Apr 2020

Benguet mulls total lockdown to prevent COVID-19 spread

Philippine Information Agency
26 Mar 2020, 21:38 GMT+10

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, Mar. 25 (PIA) - - The Provincial COVID Inter-Agency Task Force mulls the imposition of a province- wide total lockdown to protect the province from the dreaded corona virus 2019 or COVID-19.

In a meeting of the task force on March 23, the idea for a total lockdown was proposed following the Department of Health's confirmation of positive COVID-19 cases in Baguio City. Considering the proximity of Baguio City to Benguet municipalities, the group fears for the spread of the virus in the province, which remains COVID- free.

They tackled the limitations of the province particularly in terms of facilities and human resources. The Benguet General Hospital lacks specialty doctors. Should there be increase in critical patients, there is a pool of medical experts who committed to look after such patients. But the lack of facilities such as respirators and personal protective equipment for health workers are other limitations, Diclas said.

"We cannot afford in case there will be increase in the number of patients. That is why prevention is better than cure," said Diclas who is a doctor by profession.

Pending the lockdown guidelines, the province continues to observe protection and preventive measures and implements the enhanced community quarantine that has been imposed in Luzon since March 17 to curb the spread of COVID.

On the emerging concerns on the implementation of the ECQ particularly in checkpoints, curfew hours and restricted public transport and human movement, it is the mandate of the provincial government is to make quarantine not very difficult, but the health of the people should not be compromised as the government is bound to protect in order to avoid the spread of the virus, Diclas said.

He reiterated his appeal for the people of Benguet to stay in their homes, avoid going out if not necessary, observe proper hygiene and maintain social distancing, which others call as "physical distancing." (JDP/SCA-PIA-CAR, Benguet)

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