UP Baguio statisticians say COVID-19 transmission in Baguio slowing down

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The transmission of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the city had slowed down based on latest data, according to a team of statisticians from the University of the Philippines Baguio.

In its latest Exploratory Data Analysis submitted to the City Health Services Office and the City Public Information Office, the UPB Department of Mathematics and Computer Science team said this was based on the latest values of the time-varying case reproduction number or Rt.

Rt was defined as “the average number of secondary cases where an infected individual would transmit the infection as long as the conditions remained as they were at a time.”

An Rt of more than 1 means that the epidemic is “out of control” while an Rt of less than 1 means there is a “deceleration in transmissions at a time.”

As of Nov. 17, 2020, the Rt value of COVID cases in the city was pegged at 0.5696297 (and) the lower and upper limit values at 95 percent are 0.48646637 and 0.6617732, respectively, according to the team.

“This means that there is sufficient evidence of deceleration of transmission of COVID-19 infection in Baguio City,” the team composed of Profs. Rizavel C. Addawe, Jhunas Paul Viernes, Wilfredo Dizon Jr., Shielden Grail Domilies, Criselda Libatique, Joseph Ludwin Marigmen, Raya Elaine Gueco and Donnabel Tubera-Panes said.

The team however advised residents to continue “protecting yourselves and your loved ones at all times.”

Meanwhile, City Health Officer Dr. Rowena Galpo reported that as of Nov. 18, the number of active cases in the city had been cut down to 17.26 percent of the total number of cases while recoveries increased to 81.34 percent.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong welcomed the development but noted that the downtrend in the city’s cases had been slow owing to factors like the continued reopening of economic activities, eased up restrictions and continued local transmissions.  He said people’s movement in Metro Baguio may also be a factor as people from other municipalities freely move in and out of the city and this may be a factor especially if these local government units do not implement their own control measures.

He said that to enhance infection control, the city will implement various measures including tightening border restrictions between the city and its neighbors, imposing new restrictions for people aged 65 years and above, enhancing monitoring of establishments in implementing minimum health standards, imposing a modified ban on liquor consumption and social gatherings, among others.

He said this is also in response to the call of the medical community for enhanced control measures in the light of the increase in the number of severe cases and fatalities in the past days.  – Aileen P. Refuerzo

 

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