BONTOC, Mountain Province, Jan. 26(PIA)--Bontoc residents voluntarily submit themselves to be swabbed for RT-PCR testing in the Aggressive Community Testing (ACT) being conducted by the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 through the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and the Bureau of Fire Protection.
The mass testing started today in Barangays Samoki and Tocucan, to be followed by Barangay Bontoc Ili tomorrow andbarangays Poblacion and Caluttit on Jan. 28. Two mass swabbing stations were set up in Samoki, which is the most affected by COVID among the barangays.
The ACT is targeting 5,000 tests in the municipality prioritizing these barangays which have the most number of cases. It is also scheduled in the towns of Sabangan, Sagada and Bauko which have also recorded surge of COVID cases.
The activity was coordinated by the Cordillera Regional Task Force against COVID-19 thru Cordillera Regional Disaster Risk Reduction, Management Council Chair and Office of Civil Defese -CAR Regional Director Albert Mogol following the surge of COVID-19 cases and the detection of UK variant of the COVID-19 here.
The DOH on Jan. 22 announced that 12 of the 16 new cases of the more transmissible COVID 19 UK variant in the Philippines are from Bontoc. Seven are males, and five are females, and 11 of them are from barangay Samoki. Nine of the cases have already recovered while three remain in isolation at a hospital.
The DOH has confirmed "local transmission in Bontoc of the B117 variant of SARS-CoV-2 as identified through genomic sequencing." But no strong evidence of community transmission.
Meanwhile, intensified and expanded contact tracing is continuing to track down all persons who had interaction with or exposed to the 12 locals found out with Covid-19 UK variant. The Department of Health has sent reinforcement team led by DOH- CAR Assistant Regional Director Amelita Pangilinan and composed of contact tracers from CAR, Regions 1, 2 and 3 to help the Bontoc LGU Contact Tracing and Monitoring Team, in tracing up to the third generation contacts, to suppress further transmission.
As of Jan. 25, Bontoc has 410 total cases with 306 active cases and two deaths.
Bontoc Mayor Franklin Odsey expressed gratitude to the national government and the DOH for their immediate response and assistance. (PIA-CAR)