Issue of January 10, 2021
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COVID clustering hits 53 PMA cadets
by Jane B. Cadalig

Around 53 cadets were among those affected by the recent Covid-19 case clustering at the Philippine Military Academy, but the military institution has assured the families of the cadets they are being attended to and measures are implemented to contain the infection.

Department of Health-Cordillera Director Ruby Constantino said based on the data from the Baguio City Health Services Office, the 53 cadets are among the 72 individuals who tested positive for Covid-19 inside the academy.

The others who contracted the virus are wait staff and cooks.

Constantino said they were among the 1,200 individuals who were part of the expanded testing initiated by PMA with the help of the Philippine Coast Guard in late December last year.

She has asked PMA to continue coordinating with and provide necessary information to the city government.

“PMA should continue coordinating with the city government because (the institution) is within the jurisdiction of Baguio City, which is responsible for contact tracing and isolation,” Constantino said.

In a statement released by PMA spokesperson. Maj. Cheryl Tindog, the academy assured families of the cadets that the command is “on top of the situation.”

“All those affected are asymptomatic and pose no danger to the cadets’ health. We assure parents and their families that their health needs are being attended to by the PMA headquarters,” the statement reads.

It added that upon detection of the positive cases, PMA has conducted immediate isolation, lockdown, quarantine of general contacts, and disinfection of affected areas.

“The patients are being treated, the contacts were traced and isolated, and further spread is contained in coordination with concerned government agencies.”

PMA said it will continue to conduct expanded testing as part of its efforts to keep the cadet corps and the entire institution from the threats of the Covid-19 infection.

“Although the cadet corps of the AFP has been isolated from the outside world by cancelling contact activities and employing online mode of instruction, there is no foolproof system, hence the need for mass testing,” the statement added.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, PMA said it was the first time in December last year that it conducted tests using the RT-PCR kits among the cadets and civilian personnel. Earlier tests were done through the antigen.

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