Covid-19 deaths in Sagada

>> Monday, April 5, 2021

Alfred P. Dizon

(My sister Gina who is based in Sagada, writes this week’s piece.)   

SAGADA, Mountain Province - Local netizens and authorities in this once vibrant tourist town which registered 180 positive cases as of April Fools Day, are urging residents to submit themselves for swabbing and stay at home when quarantined.  
    Seven Covid-affected deaths this first quarter included senior citizens Beatrice Agpad, Joel Dogao, William Tindowen, Eliza Aragon , 57 year old Maria Ap-apid, another senior citizen and a 39 year old female from Balugan. 
    Sagada Mayor James Pooten who tested positive of Covid-19 last March 26 appealed to those whom he had been talking with in person or who shared space over an extended time at the same setting during the last 14 days to isolate immediately and inform members of their respective Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERTs) or the Municipal Health Office for advice and scheduling of testing.
    This includes those who come home from trips outside of Sagada to undergo swabbing.  
    Among the town’s 19 barangays are 15 villages with residents infected with the Covid-19 virus.
    The vegetable producing barangay of Balugan registered the highest 54 Covid positive cases as of March 27 followed by     Poblacion Sagada particularly barangays Patay and Dagdag; Antadao in the eastern zone and Bangaan in the northern zone records from the Municipal Rural Health Unit reveal.
    The southern villages of Suyo, Taccong, Nacagang; Tetep-a Norte in eastern Sagada and Madongo in northern Sagada are zero-covid.
    Among  2,360 persons on quarantine are 2,042 either swabbed or still not are home quarantine found in Patay barangay with 478 isolated followed by barangay Dagdag with 172, Ambasing with 168, Bangaan with 159,  Antadao with 136 and Demang with 113 persons isolated.
    The rest of 318 persons are in facility quarantine sites namely St Theodore’s Hospital, Rural Health Unit Isolation rooms and some selected inns.
    “It is important to detect, isolate, treat and reintegrate” Dr Jeovy Rose Aborque Municipal Health Officer said, adding  mass testing is being done.   
    A common public observation is “pasaways” who are swabbed with no results yet are seen in public.
    Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Center officer and operations center in charge Aida Abeya urged the swabbed to stay at home until results are out, and even if result is negative to complete the 14 day quarantine period.   
    Netizen and local woman leader Mary Umaming commented in Facebook Group Sagada Reports “some do not follow protocols. Some who are swabbed are stubborn to follow stay at home orders that by the time her swab test is out she has infected plenty already. Some still do not believe that Covid is real so that they refuse to follow protocols”.
    Among the town’s some 12,000 population, 412 were swabbed for Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test.
    At the onset of the town’s increasing Covid cases, the town’s Chief Executive declared ‘sedey’ a cultural lockdown in March 27 where people were advised to stay at home.
    The barangay of Balugan was also declared in total lockdown for a week.
    The public market space and the Centrum commercial building underwent decontamination as some of the vendors have been tested positive of the virus.
    The municipal hall was also decontaminated following the municipal agriculturist officer's death due to Covid infection.
    This as mass testing is a clamor of local netizens.
     Fr. Tony Gomowad from Sagada and currently residing in Guam urged mass testing to identify those who are positive and for them to isolate themselves not to infect others.
    Pooten urged everyone to continue to observe the minimum public health standards and take the pandemic seriously.


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