October 2, 2023

Baguio City finally got to experience having zero active Covid-19 case even only for a day last April 19.
“While short-lived, it brought forth joy because it is the fruit of our more than two years of battle against the pandemic. It also bolstered our hope that we can overcome this scourge in time,” said Mayor Benjamin Magalong, who had been at the forefront of the city’s fight against the virus.
It was the first time since March 2020 that the city had a clean active case slate. That day also marked the 30th day that the city had no Covid-19 death and third week that the city had zero severe or critical cases.
City Epidemiologist Donnabel Panes and University of the Philippines Baguio Department of Mathematics and Computer Science Prof. Rizavel Addawe, whose teams had been keeping tabs and analyzing the city’s Covid-19 data, were overjoyed.
“Finally, Baguio City has zero active cases as of April 19,” Addawe said in a social media post.
“We have looked forward to this day, a day of zeros, even zero death for 30 days, a milestone in our Covid-19 response,” Panes said.
Panes on Easter Sunday, enumerated victories in the city’s Covid-19 fight: zero death in the past 28 days, zero severe/cri-tical confirmed cases the past three weeks, booster shots increasing, schools opening up, safe tourism is blooming in the better normal, health workers had their quality and quantity time with family, Facebook walls of friends have been filled with pictures of blue seas and skies, and from bounties of the land, reunion with friends and families are happening, and mobility has reached pre-pandemic stage.
Although new cases were detected again the following day ending the zero active case glee and amid the threat of new surges looming this May, the analysts were optimistic.
“We’re better prepared now more than ever. With testing, we find out who is infected. With isolation, we prevent them from infecting others. With contact tracing, we figure out the people with whom they’ve been in contact. With quarantines, we prevent these contacts from infecting others. With vaccination, we decrease the risk of long Covid, hospitalizations and death,” Panes said.
“With the continued and sustained efforts from the local government and the discipline of citizens in Baguio, we believe that this trend (of having zero cases) will continue,” Addawe said. – Aileen P. Refuerzo