MOUNTAIN PROVINCE – Mass expanded testing of all the residents in five barangays in Bontoc tagged as being under the critical zone, and placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) was conducted Tuesday, January 26, by the National Inter-Agency Task Force (NIATF), through the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA.
According to Bontoc Mayor Franklin Odsey, he has already issued an executive order, mandating the free mass testing of all the residents of Barangays Samoki, Bontoc Ili, Caluttit, Poblacion and Tocucan to be able to locate the other possible carriers of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The testing will last until January 28.
At the top of the list of residents who will undergo the mandatory testing were government personnel.
Department of Health-Cordillera Assistant Regional Director Amelita Pangilinan, who is supervise the team of contact tracers, said reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing will be done on close contacts up to third generation contacts of those who tested positive, as well as other residents in the barangays.
Based on the memorandum, the mass testing will be conducted at Barangays Samoki and Tocucan on January 26, at Barangay Bontoc Ili on January 27, and Barangays Poblacion and Calutit on January 28.
Pangilinan said the swabbers will go to do the barangays to test the residents. She added that they have already identified areas to be used for the swabbing activity.
During the meeting with provincial and Bontoc officials, Pangilinan said only the right mindset and discipline among the people can beat COVID-19.
Pangilinan said that the exponential rise in the number of COVID-19 cases could be attributed to the utter disregard of minimum public health standards (MPHS) during the Christmas holidays, and to sticking to some old ways like having coffee together in coffee shops, attending drinking sprees, glass-sharing during drinking of liquor, social gatherings and wakes, where social distancing and the wearing of masks were violated.
Mountain Province recorded 56 new confirmed cases, with 37 coming from Bontoc, nine in Sabangan, four in Sagada, two each in Tadian and Sadanga, and one each in Bauko and Paracelis, on Monday, January 25.
The Provincial Health Office also reported 12 new recoveries, bringing the total to 204 out of the 672 total confirmed cases. There are still 465 active cases.