June 1, 2023

Baguio City has recorded 21 Covid-19-related deaths in the first week of April as the city government is struggling to vaccinate its eligible population amidst the uncertainty in the arrival of vaccine supply.

Based on the summary of cases released by the Public Information Office, the highest number of deaths was recorded on April 7 with seven individuals dying of the Covid-19 pneumonia out of the 140 cases. All but one were senior citizens and had comorbid conditions.

On April 6, the city logged five deaths out of the 109 cases. Three of those who died were senior citizens with comorbid conditions.

The city also logged three deaths from the 64 cases recorded on April 5 and another three on April 4 out of the 119 cases.

There were two deaths recorded on April 3 out of the 119 cases.

No death was recorded on April 2 from the 225 cases, the highest in a day so far, while one death was recorded on April 1 from the 102 cases.

Dr. Donnabel Panes, City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit head, appealed to the public anew to be more cautious and be more responsible to ensure their well-being and that of their family members as the number of cases continues to increase.

“Twenty-one deaths in one week is not a joke. Make sure that you are not the one responsible for the death of your loved one,” she said, as she urged those who exhibit flu-like symptoms to treat their condition as a symptom for Covid-19.

“We are in pandemic times. Cough and colds are already symptoms of Covid-19 more than any other disease,” she said.

Panes said those who manifest flu-like symptoms should immediately seek consult and isolate themselves and wear mask at all times even when at home.

As the city government awaits the arrival of the AstraZeneca doses it procured, it has moved on to the vaccination of the priority A3 or those with comorbid conditions, using the vaccines provided by the Department of Health.

The city has skipped the vaccination of priority A2 or the senior citizens as they are not eligible for the Sinovac doses that are currently being administered.

But on April 7, reports said the Food and Drugs Administration has approved the use of Sinovac vaccine on senior citizens due to rising Covid cases and limited available vaccines.

In the meantime, the city has intensified the registration for the vaccination of priority A2 to A4 sectors, including those who belong to priority A1 who missed their chance during the vaccination rollout last month.

Among those under priority A1 are frontline health workers or those working in public and private health facilities including their staff and members of the barangay health emergency response teams.

Those under priority A4 include frontline workers in essential sectors like uniformed personnel.

CHSO nurse Sonia Insas has urged those who fall under the priority sectors to register online or through their district health centers to make sure they will be vaccinated when the doses arrive.

She said registration is important because this is where the DOH determines the number of doses it provides to a local government unit.

Health officials also appealed to the public to be understanding on why the city cannot announce the dates for the vaccination early, saying the schedules depend on the arrival of the vaccines. – Jane B. Cadalig