Baguio’s COVID-19 control measures holding up against spikes in cases

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Mayor Benjamin Magalong assured that the city’s Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection control and case management systems have held up and so far been able to prevent the situation from getting out of hand.

“We continue to intensify our testing capacity and contact tracing efficiency which remains high to this date.  Our quarantine and isolation, treatment and prevention programs are also being beefed up to address the demand,” the mayor said.

“On our vaccination program, we still far from our target but we are on track and we have high vaccine utilization rate meaning vaccines delivered had been administered with speed,” he added.

As of April 19, the city has conducted a total of 156,968 and tested 104,832 individuals or 27.9 percent of the population and the average daily testing done in the past two weeks was 662.

Aggressive Community Testing (ACT) activities will be done continually to determine where the infections are coming from for the city to act accordingly.

He said the recent ACT program tested a total of 3,140 individuals in the high risk sectors and out of the total, 167 tested positive for a 5.3 percent positivity rate.

He said this was far from the city’s projection of a 10-12 percent positivity rate.

Contact tracing efficiency ratio remained high and at present, efforts are underway to rev up the program nationwide.

“This is what’s important.  We can capture the true situation.  Mataas ang kaso natin pero alam natin ang totoong sitwasyon kaya natutugunan natin kesa naman mababa nga pero magugulat ka na lang kapag biglang pumutok,” the mayor said.

“Kaya maganda sa atin dahil alam natin ang nangyayari halos real-time ang updates natin,” he added.

To address the critical status of the city’s critical care utilization, the city is working on putting up a modular temporary treatment and monitoring facility at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center with 30-40 isolation beds while around 50 beds at the Baguio City Community Isolation Unit at the former Sto. Nino de Jesus Medical Center have been converted as step down facilities for recovering patients to declog hospitals.

Eurotel has also been commissioned to serve as isolation area for mild patients and as billeting place for health workers.

The city officials enjoined the public to strictly adhere to the minimum public health standards to protect themselves especially with the presence of the new variants.

They said that the minimum public health standards remain to be the best weapon against the virus and its variants.

“At home, wash your hands and change your clothes before you spend time with your family, disinfect your door knobs and other frequently touched surfaces in the home, and monitor each other for flu-like symptoms.  When outside, always wear your masks and shields properly, observe physical distancing, wash hands and disinfect regularly and avoid crowded and enclosed spaces and close conversations,” it was advised. – Aileen P. Refuerzo

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