P234 million used for Baguio COVID-19 operations

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The city government obligated and used some P234 million for the city’s efforts in mitigating the effects of the dreaded Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the health and well-being of the populace, their community and the dire consequences it has brought to the local economy.

In his first State of the City Address (SOCA) delivered during the 111th Baguio Charter Day anniversary program at the Baguio Convention Center (BCC) Tuesday, Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong reported the city made sure it had all the necessary and required health response services and infrastructure available right at the start of the onset of the global pandemic.

He claimed that Lindi Hotel was used as an isolation facility during the early stages of the pandemic while P25.2 million was allocated for the defunct Sto. Niño Hospital as an isolation facility and that the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) had provided some P12 million for its expansion into a 300-bed isolation facility.

Further, he added that the DPWH is providing the city with some P8 million for the construction of a 1-storey 16-bed health facility at the parking lot of the Baguio Convention Center (BCC) adjacent to planned centralized triage facility worth P35.2 million

According to him, in any eventuality, the city has 6 hospitals with 79 bed wards, 219 isolation beds, 30 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds, 18 mechanical ventilators, and 2 laboratories already in use and on standby specific for the testing, treatment and management of COVID-19 cases.

He assured the concerned stakeholders that by the end of September, the city will have some 400 isolation beds.

Magalong emphasized the city is 100 percent compliant on contact-tracing for positive cases and that the city’s contact-tracing efficiency ratio was 1:37 and because of clustering, it is now at 1:24 where for every patient, more than 20 high risk contacts are traced, tested, isolated and treated.

Currently, the city performed more than 36,000 reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests on the general public, various health workers and overseas Filipino workers (OFWS).

However, the figure does not include the more than 9,000 rapid tests and nearly 2,000 antigen tests that the city conducted during the community quarantine.

He claimed that border control, tracing and containment efforts have been relentless where 56 memoranda were issued for targeted lockdowns.

He stipulated that the both the RT-PCR and rapid test kits were acquired at no expense to the city.

He pointed out the city government will continue to sustain its COVID response operations during the community quarantine until the problem will be stamped out because it is important for the city to ensure the protection of the health and safety of its constituents, especially from the prevalence of the deadly virus.

By Dexter A. See
Photo by Armando M. Bolislis

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