BAGUIO CITY, May 14 (PIA) - - The Department of Health Center for Health and Development- Cordillera (DOH - CAR) appeals anew for public vigilance and strict compliance with health and safety rules and protocols against the Coronavirus disease (COVID - 19), as the number of cases continue and with new variants already detected in the country.
DOH - CAR Assistant Regional Director and COVID - 19 spokesperson Dr. Amelita Pangilinan, in the May 12 Kapihan media forum here, reported that though the region registered decrease in cases in the past two weeks, the Average Daily Attack Rate (ADAR) in remains high.
Based on DOH - CAR data, Cordillera is under high risk with an ADAR of 14.87 per 100,000 population. Per geographical area, only Abra and Apayao are at moderate risk with an ADAR of 1.84 and 5.5 percent, respectively. The rest of CAR are all under high risk-Baguio City (20.35%), Benguet (9.56%), Ifugao (33.68%), Kalinga (15.41%) and Mountain Province (20.01%).
Pangilinan also reported that 100 COVID - 19 variants of concern (VOC) VOC cases were confirmed in the region where 97 B.1.1.7 or the UK variant and three were B.1.351(South African variant).
Of the VOCs, 73 have already recovered and reintegrated into the community, 12 are scheduled for specimen collection, five were with repeat positive of RT - PCR test, one is awaiting fo result and one refused RT-PCR testing but under quarantine/isolation.
Pangilinan explained that it is usual that virus such as COVID-19 tends to mutate from varying hosts, though so far based on experts' studies, the related VOCs only tend to be more infective or more easily transferred from one individual to another.
She reiterated that the best protection remains to be the strict compliance to the minimum public health standards and safety protocols being set by the government and the local government units, side by side with the national vaccination and deployment program.
"Through watching the news, we are constantly reminded of other countries such as India that are now unfortunately suffering the severe results of disregarding the minimum public health standards. Our prayers go out to them and to all those who have been hit the hardest of this pandemic," Pangilinan said.
Let these instances open our eyes and make us realize the importance of taking these rules and policies seriously; let it motivate us to do our part well so that our country's situation will not reach a similar point," she added.
Pangilinan also called on the public to support the vaccination program. "The vaccines are here - with more to arrive in the coming months. Let us take advantage of this free opportunity for us to protect not only ourselves but also our loved ones and everyone around us", she stressed. (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)