Pampanga town declares state of calamity due to 'frightening' surge in COVID cases | Inquirer News
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Pampanga town declares state of calamity due to ‘frightening’ surge in COVID cases

/ 05:00 AM August 21, 2021

INSPECTION Police have intensified their monitoring of compliance with health protocols in checkpoints set up in key areas of Pampanga province as its number of active COVID-19 cases ballooned to 4,467 on Friday. —PHOTO COURTESY OF PAMPANGA POLICE PROVINCIAL OFFICE

MABALACAT CITY—The municipal government of Guagua in Pampanga province on Thursday declared a “state of calamity” due to the surge in cases of COVID-19 in the town and to aid villages that have been placed on lockdown.

Guagua municipal administrator Isaias Panganiban Jr. said the active cases in the town rose to 440 as of Friday and the town’s P7 million calamity fund could now be channeled to COVID-19 responses, mainly in areas under strict granular quarantine.

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“It is frightening,” said Mayor Dante Torres in a television interview Friday about Guagua’s active cases climbing to more than 400 that day, since the town used to have active infections that did not exceed 100.

“We really needed to have funds to sustain villages under lockdown, especially for food, medicines and burial expenses,” he added.

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The villages of Bancal and San Juan Nepomuceno are currently on lockdown due to the rising COVID-19 cases in their areas.

Under the regular process, Torres said it would take at least 40 days for the bidding and procurement of essential commodities for townspeople affected by the COVID-19 and the granular lockdown.

“Our affected people could have died by the time the bidding is completed. That is why we decided to declare a state of calamity,” he said.

Guagua has logged 1,686 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began last year, of which 1,132 have recovered while 114 have died, Panganiban said.

Bed shortage

Torres said the one public and two private hospitals in the town have also ran out of beds for COVID-19 patients, many of whom have formed long queues outside these facilities waiting for admission.

He said he tried to ask the Jose B. Lingad Memorial General Hospital in the capital city of San Fernando and the Department of Health (DOH)-Region 3 for hospital beds for his constituents. “But we were referred instead to other hospitals outside of Pampanga like Cabanatuan City and Bulacan province. Our health facilities are truly fully occupied,” he said.

DOH data showed that the 47 public and private hospitals in Pampanga were only left with 37 intensive care unit beds and 125 isolation beds as of Wednesday. JUN A. MALIG

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TAGS: COVID-19, Pampanga, pandemic, State of Calamity, surge in COVID cases
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