Baguio reaches out to Benguet amid rise in COVID-19 cases

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The Baguio City government has offered the use of its isolation facilities to Benguet province amid the spike of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) cases in the province.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the city continues to expand its isolation capacity to address the surge in its own cases as a result of eased up border and quarantine restrictions amid the reopening of the economy.

But the city is willing to extend help to its neighboring province amid its own struggle with rising cases, Magalong said.

An isolation facility set up in Venus Dorm along T. Alonzo with 80-bed capacity in the city has been lent to Benguet and it currently houses more than 50 of the province’s asymptomatic patients.

The city has also waived to Benguet its latest allocation for contact tracers so it can beef up its contact tracing teams.

Earlier it extended support to the different towns to enhance their testing capabilities to complement testing and contact tracing efforts in the city.

The city shared a total of 1,100 tests from its 3,000 test allocation from the Bases Conversion and Development Authority and 5,000 viral transport medium (VTM) consumables from its own stockpile to expedite testing of the province’s own vulnerable residents.

Although the mayor expressed disappointment over the lackadaisical response of one town to the testing activity, he praised the majority of the municipalities’ full support to the program which he said is important in proactively detecting COVID carriers and in preventing the further spread of the disease.

Apart from the testing tools, the city also shared to the province some of its personal protection equipment for use of its health workers.

“As I have always emphasized, we need to strengthen our cooperation because our people and our economies are interdependent,” the mayor said.

He said he will continue to engage local executives towards synchronized efforts particularly on the 4Cs in crisis management — coordination, cooperation, communication and collaboration especially as COVID-19 efforts have now shifted to risk management rather than risk aversion.

Aileen P. Refuerzo


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