April 23, 2024

The worst has come and it may continue in the next few weeks.
With the Delta variant being presumed to have overtaken all other Covid-19 variants in Baguio, the uptrend of Covid-19 cases in the city is expected to continue in the next weeks, Mayor Benjamin Magalong warned.
Magalong said they do not expect the situation to calm down and there will be a downtrend in the next one and a half months despite the preparations the city government has put in place in July before the Delta variant hit.
“It will not happen. We are doing everything – closing and getting stricter border control measures, implementing guidelines on gatherings and business establishments, but we don’t foresee a downtrend in the next few weeks. It will be probably for one and half months,” Magalong said.
The city as of Sept. 23 has 3,740 active cases and averaging 240 new daily cases in the last two weeks and six to seven deaths per day. Since March last year, the city recorded 449 Covid-related deaths.
While the city only has 25 confirmed Delta variant cases as reported by the Philippine Genome Center, Magalong said it actually does not reflect the volume or number but only tells where the disease is. It is presumed there are more than a thousand Delta cases already that are just not detected yet.
“Looking at our analytics, it looks like the Delta variant has already overtaken all the other variants in the city. This surge is being driven now by the Delta variant, which is a very difficult variant, totally unpredictable, and one that defies all the fundamentals of causability and correlation,” Magalong said.
Last July, the mayor said the Delta variant will hit the city in two weeks and it will be hard, which resulted in the mobilization of all concerned departments into preparation such as stacking up on supplies, medicines, and oxygen tanks; increasing health facility capacities; alerting hospitals in the city to do the same; and ramping up the vaccination drive.
Despite this, Magalong said the Delta variant still drove case surges and an unprecedented fatality rate, mostly those were not vaccinated.
“The last highest death rate before the Delta variant reached the city was in April with 87 deaths, but with the Delta variant, the city now has more than 70 death cases in just half of September alone so it will really overtake our record in terms of fatalities,” Magalong said.
City isolation facilities and hospitals are also almost full requiring the city to use step-down facilities and home isolation as long as it passes health standards. Magalong said health workers are also already overwhelmed.
He said the city government have hired additional health workers with assistance from the Department of Health-Cordillera.
Magalong said the way to beat the variant is to strictly comply with the minimum public health standards.
He urged residents to observe discipline in complying with the minimum health protocols, which include avoiding crowds, observing personal hygiene, wearing of proper face masks, and proper ventilation.
Magalong said the city will have to implement new and stricter measures soon, which could make things more difficult, but he said it is a decision they have to make without sacrificing the need for the economy to keep moving.
The city has been placed on general community quarantine status with heightened restrictions effective Sept. 24 to 30 along with Abra and Bohol. –Hanna C. Lacsamana