June 20, 2024

Baguio City breached the 500 daily cases, which was earlier projected as the highly transmissible Omicron variant is feared to have already penetrated the city.
The 516 cases recorded on Jan. 13 is the city’s new highest number of cases in one day. The city’s last highest daily number was the 411 recorded on Sept. 18, 2021 at the height the of the Delta surge.
Of the 516 cases, 123 are symptomatic while 390 had mild symptoms.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong on Jan. 11 projected cases in the city will be at 400 to 500 a day, based on the trend in the past weeks.
He said at the time of the Delta-driven surge, the city’s daily Covid-19 tally was hitting 200 a day.
“We are projecting our cases per day to be as high as 400 to 500 and with the possibility of an escalation of the alert level status in the National Capital Region, it is also possible that our status will escalate,” Magalong said.
As of Jan. 12, Baguio has 2,082 active cases. Magalong said this number could reach up to 9,000 to 10,000 a day with the threat of the more transmissible Omicron variant, which he claimed has already infiltrated the city.
Magalong said while Baguio has not yet recorded the Omicron variant, there’s a possibility that the strain is already in the city since the symptoms manifested by those who tested positive for the Covid-19 are similar to the symptoms shown by cases in other countries that have the Omicron variant.
“Officially, there are still no Omicron cases, but the symptoms and the manner cases are surging. These are indications that we now have the Omicron and most probably, there’s already a community transmission,” Magalong said.
As of last week, Baguio’s positivity rate was 17 percent, way higher than the three percent positivity rate recorded two weeks ago and the 0.2 percent recorded three weeks ago, according to Magalong.
“The surge is happening,” Magalong said, adding while the city is doing its best to manage the increasing number of cases, Baguio’s temporary treatment and monitoring facilities (TTMFs) can only accommodate as much.
Magalong added the city is hoping to increase the number of isolation beds to 920, but the additional capacity will not be able to accommodate the projected 9,000 to 10,000 active daily cases.
To avoid overwhelming the isolation and treatment facilities, Magalong said the city government has allowed home quarantine for asymptomatic individuals and for those whose residences passed the standards for home isolation.
“Only the severe and moderate cases will be admitted to the hospitals and TTMFs,” he said.
With the escalation of the city’s alert level status to Level 3 last week, Magalong said there are provisions to cushion its impact on the local economy.
“While we are on alert level 3, we are creating provisions to ensure that business will continue operating. We can no longer afford any lockdown. Our economy has already suffered much,” he said. – Jane B. Cadalig