Bontoc town mayor tests positive for COVID-19

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 24) — Mayor Franklin Odsey of Bontoc, Mountain Province has revealed he had tested positive for COVID-19.

In a statement late Saturday night, Odsey revealed that he is under isolation after he was informed last January 15 that he had contracted the virus.

Odsey said he is asymptomatic but is being monitored by doctors.

"I write this letter while I am in isolation at home as I was informed last January 15 that I have contracted the COVID-19 virus," he said.

"Thankfully, I have no symptoms and I am under constant monitoring by my doctors," he added.

In the same statement, Odsey also commented on the "dramatic increase" in positive cases which prompted the town to impose a two-week lockdown until end of January on Barangay Samoki, and a one-week lockdown on Barangays Bontoc Ili, Caluttit, and Poblacion in Central Bontoc until January 24. The four villages were also placed under "critical zone" until the end of the month.

The Department of Health said Saturday that it had observed an increase of over 200% in COVID-19 infections in Bontoc, after 12 of the 16 new cases of the more contagious B.1.17 variant detected in the country were recorded in the town. Of the 12 cases, 11 were from one Bontoc village alone.

READ: Bontoc, Mountain Province sees 200% increase in COVID-19 cases 

Odsey noted a possible extension of the lockdown in the affected areas. The restrictions could even expand to the whole Mountain Province, depending on contact tracing results, he said.

"As president of the Mountain Province League of Mayors, we have coordinated with our fellow mayors here about intensified and collaborative COVID response in all towns, including stricter border control," he said.

The local government had coordinated with the national government to deploy additional contact tracers for Bontoc's local hospital and municipal health office. It also identified at least three hotel establishments and two public schools in the town as temporary treatment and monitoring facilities, Odsey added.