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Baguio City health authorities urged individuals experiencing early symptoms of the dreaded Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) to seek immediate medical consultation from the nearest health facility to ensure they are properly diagnosed to avoid complications and not to wait for their situation to worsen.
City Health Officer Dr. Rowena Galpo said people should not fear seeking early medical consultation from health authorities for their own good to avoid complications to their health that might cause their untimely demise.
Based on the data from the City Health Services Office, the reported COVID-related deaths in the city as of December 14, 2020 was only 48 but it increased to 71 as of January 5, 2021.
The medical officer claimed the data showed there was at least 1 recorded COVID-related death in the city over the past several weeks that caused the city’s death rate to also increase from 1.5 percent to 1.77 percent at the start of the new year which warrants the need to constantly remind sick people not to hesitate in seeking medical attention from health experts.
She disclosed that individuals experiencing early signs of the virus, especially the elderly, are hesitant in seeking medical attention because they do not want to be immediately confined and isolated in the health facilities and this might contribute in the worsening of their health condition.
However, Galpo explained that most of the reported deaths in the city belong to the elderly age bracket and many of them were declared dead on arrival or have been brought to the hospitals when their situation was already complicated.
Among the symptoms of COVID include cough, colds, fever, sore throat and diarrhea.
She pointed out it is still best for people to seek early medical attention from health facilities once they experience the early symptoms of the virus and to avoid self-medication because it might complicate their condition.
For her part, City Social Welfare and Development Officer Betty Fangasan reported that in their office, the early part of the year sees a significant increase in the claims for death benefits and this fact should be taken into consideration in assessing the significant increase in COVID-related deaths in the city over the past several weeks.
The city government will be convening a meeting among health experts and chiefs of hospitals in the city soonest to ascertain why there was a significant increase in the number of COVID-related deaths over the past several weeks to guide them in formulating the appropriate strategies to prevent the situation from going out of control.
The city health officer added that the co-morbidities of the elderly who recently died after having contracted the virus are hypertension and diabetes.
By DEXTER A. SEE