City abattoir temporarily closes, 53 cases in area noted
The one-day intended closure of the Baguio City Abattoir for disinfection has been extended to two weeks due to clustering of Covid-19 cases in the area and at the Sto. Nino-Slaughter barangay the past week that may have stemmed from a single case on Sept. 13.
Operations in the facility, including the livestock market for hogs and goats, are suspended from Sept. 25 to Oct. 9 by virtue of Executive Order 134, s. 2020 issued by Mayor Benjamin Magalong for the conduct of further contact tracing, inspection, and disinfection.
The mayor earlier issued EO 132 closing the area from Sept. 23 to 24.
During the period, the public shall not be allowed to enter the areas except for personnel of the city contact tracing team, City Veterinary Office, City Health Services Office, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, and Baguio City Police Office.
A total of 53 confirmed Covid-19 cases were recorded in the area alone, with an initial of 38 cases recorded up to Sept. 23 and additional 15 cases on Sept. 24.
Swab testing was done on Sept. 21 to 106 individuals in the area, 43 of them are staff of the City Veterinary Office and 63 are butchers.
Based on the results released Sept. 25, 29 yielded positive results: six CVO staff and 23 butchers. Fourteen of the butchers are from all puroks of Sto. Nino-Slaughter. Tracing their close contacts is ongoing as of press time.
The butchers who tested negative will undergo a second swab test on Sept. 27.
One of the earlier cases in the area is a resident whose results came out Sept. 13. According to the contact tracing team, the cases may have multiplied due to a drinking spree among the butchers. There also was a birthday party held where 22 of those who attended were infected.
A reassessment of the risk transmission in the area will be done on Oct. 2 to determine if the abattoir may resume operations before Oct. 9.
In the meantime, personnel of the CVO Animal Health Division are directed to temporarily carry out meat inspection until such time the meat inspection officers are allowed to return to work upon the advice of the CHSO.
The CVO remains operational through a skeleton workforce. – Hanna C. Lacsamana