645 contacts of COVID – 19 UK variant cases in Bontoc swabbed, DOH reports

By Carlito C. Dar

BONTOC, Mountain Province – – Expanded contact tracing   for the contacts of the 12  COVID-19 cases with UK variant  in this town   and aggressive community testing   are still ongoing  in efforts to  mitigate  further transmission.

Department of Health – CAR Regional Director Dr. Ruby Constantino reported  that as of January 27, there are already 645 individuals from the first to third generations of contacts who were  traced and were swabbed for RT – PCR testing.

For those who are tested positive for COVID, contact tracing of their first to third generation contacts will also be subjected to RT – PCR testing, she said.

The DOH on  Jan. 22, confirmed the presence of the B. or the UK variant in Bontoc and in La Trinidad, Benguet. In a DOH press release, 12 of the 16 new  cases are from Bontoc. Of these 12 cases, seven are male and five are female. Three are aged below 18 years old and another three are above 60. The Provincial Health Office alsoreported that  11 are from Samoki while  one is from Bontoc Ili.

Contact tracers from the Department of Health –CAR, Regions 1, 2 and 3 along with those from the Department of Interior Local Government and the local government unit composed 14 team have been conducting contact tracing since Sunday in the central brangays of Samoki, Bontoc Ili, Poblacion and Caluttit, and nearby barangays Tocucan.  These barangays were the most affected by the recent surge of cases.   

The National Task Force and Bases Conversion Development Authority also started Aggressive Contact Tracing    last Tuesday, and DOH – CAR  reported that as of Wednesday (Jan. 27), 1,473 individuals were already swabbed.  Aside from the contacts of the UK variant cases,   those at risk sector and those who voluntary lined   up for testing were swabbed.

Of  the 1,473 that were swabbed for RT – PCR testing,  majority are from Bontoc and the others are from Sagada as the  mass testing  has been expanded to other towns.

The NTF – BCDA  ACT  continues to expand the risk – based mass testing to the municipalities of Bauko and Sabangan.

Health authorities appeal to those who    have been swabbed and who will be swabbed to stay at home and isolate    themselves   until their results come out.

Meanwhile,  contact tracing is  also being conducted for the UK variant case in La Trinidad . DOH  data shows that 10 first generation close contact, 23 second generation and five  third generation contacts were already swabbed for RT – PCR testing.

Constantino reminds the public that as the government is continuously implementing the PDITR (Prevent, detect, Isolate, Trace and Reintegrate) strategy and pushing for the national vaccination program, people must continue to be vigilant and protect themselves and their family by strictly adhering to the minimum health standards.  (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)