Benguet demands negative swab test result for non-residents
CITY OF BAGUIO – The provincial government of Benguet requires non-residents to have a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) result to enter the province.
“For the travel entry protocol to Benguet Province, non-residents are required to present their RT-PCR results or their full vaccination card at PNP (Philippine National Police) border checkpoints. Those who do not have RT-PCR results or full vaccination cards should undergo triage in designated areas with the help of PNP, ”Governor Melchor Diclas said in a notice released Thursday.
This came as members of the Provincial Interagency Task Force (PIATF) at a meeting on Tuesday agreed to impose stricter border protocols as a precaution against the more transmissible variant of the 2019 coronavirus disease ( Covid-19) Delta.
Members of the task force also agreed to impose tough measures in March when the province saw an increase in Covid-19 cases.
“We are still applying the maximum of four days for the holding of vigils and the ban on gatherings,” Deputy Governor Johnny Waguis said on the sidelines of the meeting.
He also urged residents to continue to meet minimum public health standards.
“Before we were classified GCQ (general community quarantine), then MECQ (modified improved community quarantine), now we are MGCQ. All the guidelines that we have practiced in the past have helped control the increase in cases and lower the quarantine classification, so we will continue to do so, ”he said.
The notice says confirmed Covid-19 patients, whether symptomatic or asymptomatic, will be quarantined at the nearest quarantine facilities or at the Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facility (TTMF), according to the availability of the municipality concerned.
The provincial health office reported at the meeting that only 29 percent of active cases are in isolation facilities, while most of them are in home isolation.
“Let’s maximize the use of municipal or provincial isolation facilities as it was found that the clustering of cases was from people staying at home, affecting other family members,” Dr Meliarazon Dulay, Provincial Coordinator Covid-19 and the head of Benguet General Hospital (BeGH), run by the provincial government, said on Wednesday.
She said they had advised municipal health units in the 13 municipalities to maintain their isolation facilities to accommodate their residents, who are close to their homes, rather than being in home isolation.
Fill up with oxygen
Dulay said BeGH continued to ramp up supplies of oxygen tanks, mechanical ventilators and medication even before the threat of the delta variant emerged.
“We have seen that our oxygen tanks will not be sufficient, which is why we have already asked the provincial government in the first quarter to purchase more, which has been approved. We also have additional equipment purchased by the provincial government, although there was only a little at a time, but when put together it gives us a lot, ”she said.
She said they now have 200 hospital-owned oxygen tanks, 200 on loan from suppliers and pharmaceutical companies, 16 mechanical ventilators and four high-flow oxygen.
Two more fans should be delivered at any time.
She said the hospital’s daily oxygen requirement is 120 to 160 tanks.
She said they have entered into a memorandum of understanding with pharmaceutical companies and suppliers who will provide additional medical oxygen refill on consignment and hire additional mechanical ventilators, if needed.
As cases in the province have declined, she said most of those admitted to hospitals are moderate, severe and critical cases.
As of August 4, Benguet province had 304 active cases of Covid-19. (ANP)