Benguet records highest single day number of COVID cases at 139

Published November 8, 2020, 4:23 PM

by Zaldy Comanda

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – This province recorded the highest single-day number of new COVID-19 cases at 139 last Saturday.

Ninety-six came from Itogon where results from 761 swab samples during the mass testing on Nov.5 were taken by the National Task Force Against COVID-19 thru the efforts of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority and John Hay Management Corp.

These cases are mostly from mining companies where the transmission happened inside bunkhouses. Infected were mostly workers and miners with their family living with them.

Itogon Mayor Victor Palangdan halted the mining operations of Benguet Corp. in Virac; Itogon-Suyoc Resources Inc. in Poblacion, and Philex Mining Corp. in Ampucao through Executive Order No. 20 dated Nov.4.

The municipality of Tuba where Philex Mining is located in Camp 3 also conducted aggressive mass testing on 476 individuals last Nov. 5 which yielded 28 positive results.

Another 15 new cases were recorded in Bakun who were infected by the close contacts of three previous positive cases.

La Trinidad Mayor Romeo Salda ordered the temporary closure of the La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post after 12 packers and porters tested positive for COVID-19 during a mass swabbing activity recently.

Salda said the trading post is a beehive of activity where traders, disposers, drivers, and helpers meet en masse and come and go even from areas where there are positive cases of COVID -19.

He signed Executive Order No. 96 for the immediate closure of the trading post Saturday to give way to general cleaning and disinfection.

Salda said entry of vegetables will again be allowed at 7 p.m . Sunday and effective on Monday, a strict implementation of the “no swab, no entry” policy will be imposed at the trading post.