Baguio ups control measures as city registers 2 Delta cases

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The city has set in motion its control measures against the more infectious Delta variant after registering two cases last Aug. 15.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the city’s lead contact tracing team immediately revisited the record of the local case, a 23-year old male English as Secondary Language (ESL) teacher who was part of the cluster of 22 individuals who tested positive for the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) last July and recovered hence.

They processed the data through the link analysis tool which yielded 130 contacts, 86 of whom are being considered as probably infected with the variant, according to the mayor.

These 86 are now being reinterviewed for back tracing and more analysis.

The mayor said data showed that the Delta patient was not the original or index case in the cluster.

“Yung ating Delta patient, not necessarily na sa kanya nanggaling ang virus.  Hindi siya ang index case at base sa link analysis, mayroong mga nauna pa sa kanya.  Nagkataon lang na ang specimen nya ang nai submit for testing.  Sa susunod na mga araw, maaaring matukoy natin  kung sino ang index case at kung saan nya maaaring nakuha ang virus,” he said.

Executive Asst. V Felipe Puzon of the lead contact tracing team said initial results of back tracing showed one co-employee had experienced symptoms as early as June 19 and they are now establishing if this was the index case.

Records and reinvestigation also showed that some of the contacts had been traced to have had activities in some Benguet towns and other areas and these local government units had been notified and furnished the names of the contacts for them to undertake follow up contact tracing and other measures.

“It’s a good thing that when the patient tested positive along with 20 other individuals last July, the workplace was immediately locked down and control strategies like contact tracing were done,” the mayor said.

City Health Officer Dr. Rowena Galpo said they are assuming that all the 22 belonging to the cluster had been infected by the Delta thus control measures are now centered on them.

Apart from back tracing and data and link analyses, the city will also conduct repeat RT PCR tests, interviews, checking on contacts and travels done on these patients.

The second case, meanwhile, is 34-year old male returning Filipino worker (ROF) who returned July 18 and had a 10-day quarantine in Manila before returning to Baguio last Aug. 4 for an additional seven-day home isolation.

Contact tracing is now ongoing for his co-passengers at the sweeper bus and the taxi he rode home.

The mayor said stricter restrictions especially at the borders will continue along with the other contingency measures prepared by the city against the dangerous variant. – Aileen P. Refuerzo

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