Naga braces for Omicron
By Jason B. Neola
The Naga City Health Office (NCHO) is bracing for possible surge of Covid-19 cases due to the Omicron variant even as it warned residents to strictly observe the appropriate health and safety protocols to avoid being infected.
Dr. Vito Borja, NCHO chief and chairperson of the Health Emergency Response Task Force (HERTF), said that the public should be vigilant and cautious enough against having cough, cold, and body pain.
“Cold-like conditions such as sniffles, headaches, and tiredness also indicate possibility of Omicron variant infection, the symptoms include nausea and loss of appetite,” Borja said.
He assured Nagueños that his office continues to conduct swab or RT PCR test on anyone who wishes to know about his/her real condition.
Renne Gumba, executive director of Public Safety Office, maintained that the LGU doesn’t see yet the urgency of establishing border controls at the city’s entry and exit points despite the detection last month of two cases of Omicron variant in the municipality of Bombon and Tigaon.
The HERTF’s enforcement cluster has instead made recommendation to Mayor Nelson Legacion to make the implementation of different safety and health protocols more rigorous. “We are intensifying further our interior control and monitoring approach by way of conducting constant check on people entering the barangays,” Gumba said.
Borja, however, said that fully vaccinated persons from outside the city still need to bring with them their vaccination cards. “Aside from the vax cards, individuals coming into the city must see to it that they are free from any symptom of Covid-19 and should follow the health protocols dutifully while in the city,” he said.
Among the policies that HERTF will adopt is the inspection of QR and vaccination identification cards on individuals upon their entry to any of the city’s establishments and offices. “Entries may be recorded on logbook with the absence of e-salvar IDs,” he said.
Partially vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals are required to bring IDs and negative RT PCR/swab test results, which were issued 48 hours before their entry to the city, as PNP and Public Safety Office personnel conduct random check on persons at public places for the documents required of them.
In related news, the sprawling Camarines Sur National High School annex campus is being readied again to admit Covid-19 patients, especially those who are tested positive for Omicron variant.
Borja said aside from the school campus, his office is still looking for additional area, which can be utilized as temporary quarantine and treatment facilities in preparation to possible surge of Omicron variant in the city.
On the proposed re-staging of expanded in-person classes, Legacion said that the LGU and the DepEd officials along with other education stakeholders in the city will again conduct exploratory talks on the matter.