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DOH tags Naga, Iriga, 9 others as ‘high risk’

By Jason B. Neola

Due to escalating number of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases that reached an average of 20 infections daily, the city of Naga along with Iriga City and nine towns in Camarines Sur were classified as “high risk” by the Department of Health (DOH) Bicol regional office.

This was bared by DOH Asst. Regional Director John Ferchito Avelino in a meeting called by the Bicol Inter Agency Task Force on Emerging and Infectious Diseases (BIATF) with the mayors of different local government units (LGUs) in the province on Tuesday, Apr.27.

The assembly, which discussed the status of Covid-19 cases in Camarines Sur’s 35 municipalities and 2 cities, was also participated in by the barangay chairpersons of the cities and towns concerned.

The nine municipalities which were also categorized as high risk are: Baao, Buhi, Lagonoy, Libmanan, Magarao, Milaor, Pamplona, Presentacion, and Sipocot.

DOH said that Naga’s “high risk” status was considered when its cases of infection has gone up to 239 from Apr. 12 to 25, this year. In previous weeks being under the “moderate risk” status (covering Mar. 29-Apr. 11 period), the city had 139 cases.

The data show that Naga has recorded 72 percent growth rate in two weeks time, posting an average daily attack rate of 8 persons getting infected in every 100,000 people. Naga has some 250,000 inhabitants.

Because of this situation, Allen Reondanga, head of City Events, Protocol, and Public Information Office (CEPPIO), said that upon instructions by the DOH, the city must now adopt the safety and health protocols being implemented in areas declared under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), despite its present modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) status.

Reondanga explained that Naga as independent component city could only be declared under ECQ by the national IATF thru Bicol IATF recommendation.

The key health and safety guidelines that the city was advised to adopt with its “high risk” classification are:

1. Nagueños must have that mentality or mindset of living in an area that was placed under ECQ

2. Strict and continuous implementation of the active case-finding approach by which a larger number of infected persons are identified and appropriately acted upon. The strategy will help to limit the transmission of the virus

3. Strict and continuous implementation of enhanced contact-tracing efforts on primary and secondary contacts, and;

4. Strict and continuous implementation of e-Salvar QR Code on every person who comes in and goes out of a building or establishment.

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