Downtrend in Baguio COVID-19 cases seen

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The city is projecting a downtrend in the city’s Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the coming days.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong said this can be gleaned from the results of the Aggressive Community Testing (ACT) activity and the latest epidemic risk level of the city which was at moderate risk as of April 19.

The recent risk-based testing program conducted recently produced an unexpectedly low positivity rate where a total of 3,140 individuals in the high risk sectors were tested and out of the total, only 167 tested positive for a 5.3 percent positivity rate.

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

The moderate risk classification of the city was  based on the two indicators of the average daily attack rate (ADAR) or the proportion of population that contracts the disease in a specified time and the two-week growth rate (TWGR) which captures how quickly the number of cases is changing every two weeks.

In her weekly report to the Management Committee meeting, City Health Officer Dr. Rowena Galpo said that while the city’s ADAR was high at 16 percent, its TWGR decreased by 29 percent and thus was on the low classification.

“In the last four weeks, we had an average of 98 cases a day and recently this went down to 60 a day,” Galpo said.

The city’s case recovery rate was at 84.31 percent but the fatality rate was 1.89 percent or an average of two to three deaths per day from April 13-19.

The mayor said the spike in the fatality rate was due to the fact that patients were often brought in for treatment too late and that there was really a shortage of medicines for severe patients.  He said some of the fatalities were not originally from the city.

He said the city was able to get medicine donations last weekend but these were used up.  Procurement program is now being fast-tracked.

Hospital care utilization remained at a critical level but isolation facilities at Sto. Niño Hospital, Teachers’ Camp and Baguio Convention Center still have 451 available beds out of a total of 751.

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.

Galpo 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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