Measures implemented against COVID, new variant

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In consonance to national and locally-crafted orders as the city is still under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) up to Jan. 31, stringent measures are being implemented against the rise of Covid-19 cases, and the new variant after reports of its entry to the country.

This was reported by Mayor Benjamin Magalong’s Executive Assistant Althea Alberto, during the management committee meeting at the Baguio Convention Center, Wednesday morning.

As such, the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) through a memorandum order from the Executive Secretary enforced restricted entry for travelers from Portugal, India, Finland, Norway, Jordan, Brazil, Austria, Pakistan, Jamaica, Luxembourg, Oman, People’s Republic of China, United Arab Emirates, Hungary, United Kingdom, Denmark, Ireland, Japan, Australia, Israel, Netherlands, Hongkong SAR, Switzerland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Lebanon, and Singapore who are arriving in the Philippines, until the end of this month, or until further orders are given by authorities.

To avoid contamination and transmission, close contacts up to the third generation of confirmed Covid-19 new variant cases shall be strictly confined in a facility-based quarantined for 14 days, Alberto reported.

In addition, an advisory was issued by Mayor Magalong as to home restrictions for those below 15 years old, from Jan. 19 to Feb. 1, 2021. Said age group however, may be allowed outside of residence; for emergency or medical purposes, when no one in the household could take care of the child, or his/her presence is needed at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). Strict compliance to health practices should be followed in all situations, it was emphasized.

The order from the mayor was given as part of the “hammer and dance” principle, which is a temporary restriction of economic activities and gradual lifting of limitations as Covid-19 cases rise and fall. In this case, a surge of admission in the hospitals’ pediatric section after the holidays which involved family and community gatherings was observed, thus the order.

Alberto also mentioned that the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) and the Public Order and Safety Division (POSD) shall take steps to ensure the constituents’ compliance to minimum health protocols of wearing facemasks and shield, social distancing and shall strictly monitor home quarantine/isolation facilities.

Punong barangays (PBs) were also directed to strictly monitor their constituents’ compliance to health protocols; and to submit documents for their area of responsibility’s best practices for the management and prevention of Covid-19. As of date, a majority of the PBs have complied while the response from a few is still awaited, Alberto revealed.

Health practitioners and physicians have also scheduled an assembly next week to discuss procedures, align Covid-19 management and prevention policies.

And in preparation for the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out, health workers shall conduct grassroot level surveys to know which are the most-at-risk barangays in the city for prioritization purposes.- Julie G. Fianza

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