Baguio continues to ramp up testing to arrest COVID-19

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Baguio City continued to ramp up its testing capacity as one of the city’s established strategies to keep Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) transmission in check.

In the last two weeks of January, the city posted an average of 512 tests per day in keeping with the directive of Mayor Benjamin Magalong to sustain expanded testing as a way of determining where the COVID-19 infections are coming from to hasten interventions like quarantine and isolation to prevent further spread and treatment to avoid death.

As of Feb. 3, 2021, the total number of Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests done in the city had reached 111,484, still one of the highest if not the highest in the country, according to the mayor.

Last Feb. 1-3, another free expanded testing activity was conducted by the Bases Conversion and Development (BCDA) upon the request of the mayor under the agency’s Aggressive Community Testing (ACT) project.

City Health Services Officer Dr. Rowena Galpo said a total of 3,255 tests were done during the three-day event.

This was the first ACT activity in the city this year and the fourth since the pandemic broke out last year.

Those tested belonged to target or at risk sectors like national government agency employees, uniformed personnel, private clinic and dialysis center staff, Burnham Park workers, eatery workers or food handlers, market vendors (fish, meat, vegetable, dry goods and groceries, porters, Barangay Health Emergency Response Team members, beauty parlor workers, security guards, bank employees, construction workers, contact tracers, drivers, health workers and city government employees.

The activity was in cooperation with the CHSO sanitation division, the Public Order and Safety Division and Baguio City Police Office for security and crowd control, General Service Office and the City Buildings and Architecture Office, City Engineering Office. –Aileen P. Refuerzo

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