The local government in Itogon, Benguet is requesting the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for more food assistance for residents in locked-down villages and sitios to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“We have to feed the people so that they will not be tempted to go out,” said Mayor Victorio Palangdan in a press conference on Tuesday.
As of Monday (Nov. 9), areas still on granular lockdown are Suyo and Lucbuban in Barangay Poblacion; Letbek and Bagueng in Tinongdan; Timberyard, First Gate, Skyview, Anonang, Police Station Area, PC Barracks, Upper Staff area of Camanggaan, Balatoc; parts of Acupan in Barangay Virac; and the whole of Barangay Ampucao.
Barangay Gumatdang continues to implement checkpoints as part of their preventive measures while the temporary restricted access between Itogon and Baguio is still in effect.
Palangdan said the municipality and the villages have been providing food to residents for 10 days already and they have very limited resources left.
He said the granular lockdown was declared in the said areas after a surge of cases of Covid-19 were discovered in the four villages.
The mayor said they have also noted a sporadic spread in cases at other sitios, the number of which will still be confirmed after the mass testing of about 5,000 more people very soon.
Palangdan said that as of Nov. 9, his town has recorded a total of 630 Covid-19 cases with 343 active infections.
He said that most of the active cases are in isolation facilities manned by the government and at least 117 on home quarantine due to lack of facilities in the town. Around 74 of those in isolation are in a National Task Force (NTF)-managed facility at Barangay Teodora Alonzo here.
Aside from Covid-positive patients in isolation, there are close contacts who have also been placed on quarantine.
“Dagdagan sana ang pagkain na dinadala sa amin (We hope they will increase the food allocation in our town),” the mayor said, adding this will prevent residents from leaving the isolation and quarantine facilities.
“Oplan Tugon” (Tuba-Itogon) was established by the Regional Task Force against Covid-19 for a better response and consolidated action in addressing the Covid situation issues in both towns.
Under Oplan Tugon, the DSWD has pre-positioned 3,386 food packs in Itogon and 4,600 food packs in Tuba as part of the government’s response.
Meanwhile, the municipality of Tuba has 353 cases with 212 active infections, while the capital town of La Trinidad recorded a surge with 123 active cases out of its 509 total.
As of November 9, the province of Benguet has 1,679 total infections with 801 active cases. It also recorded a total of 15 deaths. (PNA)