Bicol’s COVID-19 risk level ups to ‘moderate’

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The Department of Health Bicol Center for Health Development (DOH Bicol CHD) reported that the region is now under the ‘Moderate Risk’ category for COVID-19 amid the rising cases recently.

The department, through its Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU), yesterday presented to the Bicol Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) and local chief executives of this region an update on the levels of risk for COVID-19 of municipalities and cities.

With the rapid increase of cases, data revealed that most number of individuals who are infected were those with no history of travel. This group was followed by their close contacts, those with history of travel, front liners or responders and health care providers.

In terms of the level of risk to COVID 19, provinces of the region are categorized as follow: Masbate is under Minimal risk; Camarines Norte and Catanduanes are considered low risk provinces; Albay, Camarines Sur and Sorsogon are considered moderate risk. Municipalities and cities are likewise categorized as to their level of risk. Data for the province of Albay showed one (1) area is categorized as High and five (5) areas as moderate risk; Camarines Norte has one (1) area categorized as moderate risk; Camarines Sur has eight (8) areas categorized as High with 17 areas as moderate risk; Catanduanes has one (1) area categorized as moderate risk; Sorsogon has five (5) areas as high risk and three (3) as moderate risk areas. The province of Masbate has no areas under high or moderate risk categories.

“As a result of the categorization, the DOH Bicol CHD recommends appropriate intervention that must be strictly implemented and complied with by areas of concerns according to their category. All local government units (LGUs) are enjoined to respond to their local situation by enforcing appropriate interventions based on the level of risk categorization,” the department said.

DOH Bicol CHD also recommended LGUs under all risk levels to enforce strict adherence to the BIDA+ Solusyon, and enhance case finding and contact tracing. LGUs are urged to identify the group of individuals contributing to the rising COVID-19 cases in their locality and provide appropriate measures.

“Granular lockdowns of areas with notable clustering of cases are highly recommended. Temporary treatment and monitoring facilities (TTMFs) must be re-activated to provide quarantine measures to exposed individuals and isolation for mild to moderate confirmed cases,” said the department.

“The public is reminded that vaccination only serves as an additional protection against COVID-19. In addition, the public is informed that vaccination does not give us full protection from getting infected with COVID-19 infection,” it added.