Cordillera folk brace for stricter community quarantine | Inquirer News
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Cordillera folk brace for stricter community quarantine

/ 05:04 AM January 30, 2021

BAGUIO CITY — Residents here were again warned of tougher measures as the entire Cordillera region was placed on general community quarantine (GCQ) for the month of February.

The GCQ status of the region was officially announced on Friday by presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, but the region had been anticipating the stricter quarantine after 12 people in Bontoc town of Mountain Provincen contracted the more contagious UK B117 variant this month. Another case of the UK variant was detected in La Trinidad town, Benguet province.

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Aggressive tests and contact tracing involving the UK variant infections were extended to Bontoc’s three neighboring towns, said Dr. Ruby Constantino, department of Health Cordillera director, on Thursday.

Constantino said some residents in the towns of Sagada, Sabangan and Bauko, all in Mountain Province, could have been exposed to the UK variant cases after attending community gatherings in Bontoc last December.

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The local government of Bontoc has locked down four of its villages where the confirmed UK variant infections were detected.

Baguio City, which is currently under modified GCQ, and its neighboring towns in Benguet have also imposed tighter border controls to avert the possible surge of COVID-19 infections before the GCQ was announced.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong prohibited children age 14 and below and elderly age 65 and above from leaving their homes to reduce transmissions.

The city has recorded a total of 4,894 COVID-19 infections since March, 535 of them still classified as active cases.

The Cordillera provinces are currently formulating GCQ guidelines, but many towns already exercise very strict border protocols.

Like Baguio, the rest of the Cordillera saw spikes in infections after December. Since March, the region recorded a total of 11,463 COVID-19 patients, 1,379 of whom were still active cases as of Jan. 28. —VINCENT CABREZA

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TAGS: Cordillera Administrative Region, coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, general community quarantine, UK variant
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