September 25, 2023

Baguio City prevented a total of 98,215 Covid-19 cases from March 2, 2020 to Feb. 27 by implementing prevention, detection, isolation, treatment, and reintegration (PDITR) strategies.

In her report on the actions taken by the city government during the Covid-19 response planning session last May 21, City Planning and Development Coordinator, Arch. Donna Tabangin, said a University of the Philippines Baguio study revealed that Baguio City’s projected total number of infected individuals was 103,880 cases over said period.

“Had we not done PDITR measures, the number of our cases would have been 103,880 but since we did, we only had a total of 5,665 cases from March 2, 2020 to Feb. 27 and prevented almost 95 percent of the projected number of cases,” Tabangin said. 

Tabangin however said the city’s case “is not exactly a success story” as it still needs to improve its PDITR interventions in face of infection and fatality surges amid efforts to balance its way between ensuring the health and safety of the people and keeping the economy afloat.

“We do the hammer and dance such that when cases peak, we also heighten our PDITR or we keep hammering to keep the cases low. When cases let up, we dance along with it by easing up some restrictions to ensure that the economy will also pick up without compromising the health of our constituents,” she said. 

Mayor Benjamin Magalong said while the city’s infection control and case management systems on PDITR continue to hold up, the city needs to continually fine tune its strategies and adopt innovations to attain a “whole-of-government-and-whole-of-society approach” in addressing the continuing health crisis.

So far the city had done the following strategies:

For prevention, the city’s measures focused on proactive cancellation of classes and activities that will entail mass gathering; mounting of information, education, and communication campaign on minimum public health standards; and disinfection measures.

On detection: contact tracing, expanded testing, e-system command center, artificial intelligence-assisted X-ray, isolation centers, targeted lockdowns, assessment of homes as quarantine facilities for overseas Filipino workers, returning Baguio residents and locally stranded individuals, and food assistance for locked down residents.

On treatment, triage system for patients, online referral system, one hospital command center, and Covid-19 ward for health personnel.

On reintegration: mental health assistance, home visits for healed patients.

On re-opening: Baguio Revitalization Action for a Vibrant Economy economic stimulus package, Baguio Visitor Information and Travel Assistance; road to smart cityhood to pursue projects for digital transformation, connectivity and fibertization, Baguio in My Pocket and telemedicine. – Aileen P. Refuerzo