January 31, 2023

The city government of Baguio subjected more than 25,000 residents to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong on Aug. 4 said individuals from the different sectors were randomly swabbed by the City Health Services Office (CHSO) starting June.
The swab samples were processed at the molecular laboratory of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center.
Magalong said swab testing is an important component of contact tracing to see who needs to be isolated or quarantined.
The risk-based mass testing will determine the actual Covid-19 situation in the city aside from looking for asymptomatic patients for isolation and treatment.
The last sector to be tested is the banking industry.
Based on a CHSO report, there were 439 personnel from 23 banks who were swab tested, 28 of them tested positive or a positivity rate of 6.38 percent.
The mayor said persons who have close contacts with a positive individual were also subjected to PCR test.
He said experience on contact tracing shows that a Covid-19 case has an average of 37 close contacts who were identified within 24 hours, underwent swab test, and immediately quarantined to avoid further spread of the disease.
Those with flu-like symptoms who were asked to report to the Barangay Health Emergency Team (BHERT) for assessment or to a medical facility for checkup were also swabbed.
Returning overseas Filipino workers who have symptoms were also tested.
Magalong lauded the opening and accreditation of a private molecular laboratory in the city as additional swab testing facility.
Nine of the 16 positive cases recorded in Baguio were tested by the private molecular laboratory on Aug. 4.
Magalong said regular swab test of medical frontliners is a continuing activity as the city has sufficient PCR testing kits.
“We have sufficient supplies from donors. We are sharing the supply to nearby provinces of the Cordillera. By helping them, we are also helping ourselves,” the mayor said. – PNA