BAGUIO CITY – The health department reclassified the Cordillera under high risk epidemic level following the surge in the number of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID) cases in the different parts of the region over the past two weeks.
Based on the agency’s report, the region recorded a 2-week COVID growth rate of 199 percent and an average daily attack rate per 100,000 population of 8.32.
Further, Kalinga and Mountain Province which were previously under the low risk epidemic level were elevated to the critical risk epidemic level because of the recent surge in the number of cases in their respective areas of jurisdiction over the past two weeks.
On the other hand, Baguio and Benguet remained under the high risk epidemic level while Ifugao and Apayao which were also previously classified under the low risk epidemic level were also elevated to the high risk epidemic level due to sudden surges in cases during the aforesaid period.
Abra which was previously under the low risk epidemic level was also elevated to the moderate risk epidemic level because of slight increase in the number of cases in the province over the past two weeks.
Health authorities noticed the sudden surges in COVID cases in most parts of the region over the past two weeks following the celebrations that were conducted by the people during the Yuletide season that caused the re-classification of the Cordillera to the high risk epidemic level from the previous low risk epidemic level.
As of January 21, 2020, COVID cases in the region reached 10,582 with 140 reported deaths where 8,752 individual were able to recover from the deadly virus while 1,687 persons remain to be confined in the different health facilities or undergoing home quarantine in their homes regionwide.
In terms of deaths, Baguio City registered the highest with 85 followed by Benguet with 45, Kalinga – 5, Abra and Mountain Province – 2 cases each and Apayao and Ifugao – 1 case each.
Of the region’s total COVID CASES, Baguio City accounted for most of the cases with 4,599 closely followed by Benguet with 3,914, Kalinga – 1007, Mountain Province – 536, Ifugao – 252, Abra – 161 and Apayao – 113.
The recent surges in the number of COVID cases regionwide might have an effect on the upcoming determination of the community quarantine status of the different local governments that will be announced by President Rodrigo Duterte before the end of the month.
At present, all of the local governments in the region have been placed under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) until January 31, 2021.
Health experts urged the public to continue strictly adhering to the ongoing implementation of the prevailing minimum health standards such as the mandatory wearing of face masks and shields, observance of physical distancing and practice of personal hygiene and sanitation.
Moreover, the public was also advised to avoid crowded places, close contact settings and confined and enclosed spaces. By HENT