TUBA, Benguet, Oct 23(PIA) -- More than 200 employees of a large scale mining company here have been swab tested for COVID-19 following recorded COVID-19 cases within the mining community.
Philex Mining Corporation Legal Officer Eduardo Aratas said the mining company started conducting expanded testing of its employees thru a private testing facility in Baguio City to assure their health and safety. This is separate from the testing being conducted as part of the contact tracing procedures for the COVID-19 positive cases.
Aratas said the company initially targeted 1000 employees for the expanded testing , but is now looking at the possibility of including dependents of its employees in the testing.
The Philex Mines Supervisory Employees Union and the Philex Rank and File Employees Union have requested the mine company to conduct mass testing of its employees following the surge of COVID-19 cases in the mining community.
In October 14, Philex recorded at least five COVID-19 cases following a community transmission. The cases increased to at least 25 as of October 23 with the contact tracing done by the Tuba Municipal Health Office and thru the expanded testing by the mine company.
All the patients have been contact traced and are now admitted at the Benguet General Hospital and the Temporary Treatment and Isolation facility in Wangal, La Trinidad for further monitoring and treatment.
Tuba Mayor Clarita Sal-ongan immediately placed the mining community on a temporary lockdown under Executive Order No. 038-10-20 and Enhanced Community Quarantine protocols are strictly imposed. The lockdown is still in effect until further notice.
Sal-ongan strongly advises everyone to stay home and strictly observe all health protocols. She further discourages everyone from holding social gatherings to prevent spread of the virus. (JDP/RMC- PIA-CAR)