July 18, 2024

Months after emerging from the Delta variant surge, Baguio City is now faced with an upturn in its Covid-19 cases amid the threat of another wave due to the Omicron variant.
City Health Officer Rowena Galpo in a report during the Jan. 4 management committee meeting led by Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the daily average of cases rose from zero to one in week Dec. 19 to 25, 2021 to nine in week Dec. 26, 2021 to Jan. 1.
She said since Nov. 7 up to the third week of December, there was a decrease in number of active cases but last week, the cases increased from four to 63.
Results in other indicators also put the city under the moderate risk classification.
Galpo said the positivity rate hiked from 0.2 percent in week Dec. 19 to 25, 2021 to 2.72 percent on week Dec. 26, 2021 to Jan.1. 
“Although it is still below the threshold of five, the fact that it increased is already significant,” she said.
The weekly infection rate, a new metric being used by the city based on the Singapore model, is 3.19 percent which is above the threshold of one and meant the number of cases is increasing.
The reproduction number or average number of persons a patient can infect is four as of Dec. 28, 2021.
Numbers from other indicators also rose as of Jan. 4 from the Dec. 28, 2021 data: positivity rate from 0.5 percent to 1.14 percent; average daily attack rate (ADAR) from 0.6 percent to 1.13 percent; two-week growth rate (TWGR) from -65 to +31.
Hospital critical utilization rate slightly increased from 38.57 percent to 39 percent while isolation unit utilization rate significantly hiked from 1.11 percent to 11 percent.
Unlike in other areas, testing and contact tracing have been sustained in the city, Galpo said.
City Epidemiologist Donnabel Panes said the upsurge in case is expected to continue in the coming days as indicators showed ongoing active transmission.
She said factors that contributed to the increase include increase in people mobility and the lag time in testing.
The city had prepared a contingency plan for the Omicron with improvements done based on experience from the Delta wave.
“Based on the experience of other countries, Omicron is more transmissible thus we expect more cases. The good news is it has less severe symptoms so we see less hospitalization.  However, the tendency is to overwhelm the isolation units since there will be more asymptomatic to mild cases,” Galpo said.
She reminded the public to abide by the minimum public health standards at all times. – Aileen P. Refuerzo