INCREASING CASES. Benguet’s Provincial Capitol in La Trinidad. The provincial government on Tuesday (Aug. 8, 2022) renewed its call for the public to get vaccinated against Covid-19 as cases rose 445 percent from a month ago. (PNA file photo by Liza T. Agoot)

BAGUIO CITY – Benguet’s provincial government on Tuesday urged residents anew to get vaccinated against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), as the province recorded a 445-percent increase in cases.

"With the reported increase in cases, the provincial government is once again encouraging unvaccinated individuals to take a dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. Fully vaccinated individuals are also advised to receive their booster shot," provincial information officer Silver Pilo said. "Vaccination sites in the different municipalities are still actively being managed by their respective Rural Health Units and other health facilities.”

Pilo said Provincial Health Office (PHO) data showed that from an average of 16 daily Covid-19 cases over the past weeks, Benguet is now recording an average of 28 individuals testing positive for the virus every day.

He said 200 active cases have been recorded as of August 8, which marks a 455-percent increase from July 8 when 36 active cases were logged.

Pilo added that the provincial government saw a 26.98-percent positivity rate in Benguet.

"Let us continue to observe the minimum public health standards and protocols to protect us," he said in Ilocano.

The Department of Health (DOH) - Cordillera has repeatedly talked about the importance of the vaccine as an added protection, especially for high-risk populations.

"Whether for protection against Covid-19 or monkeypox or any common diseases, sanitation, using of masks and washing of hands are handy protection," Rio Magpantay, DOH-Cordillera director, said in the latest health briefing.

Magpantay said the protection coming from vaccines has been proven, not only against Covid-19 but other vaccine-preventable diseases.

DOH-Cordillera records showed that as of August 1, Benguet has fully vaccinated 241,311 individuals, or 71.99 percent of its target eligible population.

Benguet's first booster vaccination accomplishment is at 15.95 percent.

Benguet was among those identified by the Inter-Agency Task Force as among the provinces in the country still under Alert Level 2. (PNA)