June 2, 2023

Baguio City now has a total of 13 Delta variant cases of the Covid-19, one of them already died, with more than 700 individuals linked to them as possible additional cases of the more transmissible variant.
City Health Services Office-Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU) Head, Dr. Donabel Panes reported the city’s Delta cases are as young as four years old up to 87 years old.
From the confirmed cases, 732 contacts were traced to be linked to the cases and are possible Delta variant cases.
The city is also expecting its overall cases to balloon in the coming weeks, with Mayor Magalong reporting the city is now averaging 165 cases a day based on CESU’s record.
There are 1,545 active cases and 360 deaths in the city out of the 18,776 cases as of Sept. 8.
With this, the city government has imposed additional restrictions effective Sept. 11 to 18, which includes total ban on the sale and service of liquor and other alcoholic products and reduction of permitted customer capacity for indoor dining in dine-in establishments to 30 percent.
Permitted attendance for religious gatherings is also reduced to 20 percent of the venue capacity and limited to worship activities from Sept. 11 to 26.
Panes asked the public to each take safety measures to stop the Delta and other Covid-19 variants from spreading.
“Now that we know Delta is already dominant in the country, it will become dominant possibly in the city, we should know what our enemy is, or what we are fighting against with. We should take upon ourselves to isolate when we feel the symptoms and help in preventing its transmission as we did when we first had our Covid case back in 2020,” Panes said, as she reminded Delta, considered a variant of concern by the World Health Organization that was traced in India, is highly contagious and may infect five to eight individuals, compared to the regular Covid-19 variant that can only infect three to five persons.
She said the battle against further virus transmission is now at the household and workplace level, because these are where the guards or practice of minimum health protocols like wearing of face mask and shield is down.
Panes said recent data shows high level of transmission at home, reason why people may assume everyone in the household is positive when one of them is tested to have the virus that causes the Covid-19.
She appealed to the public not to panic when one finds out they are positive, and instead prepare to be isolated even while they are still waiting for their test result.
“It’s time to take over the virus and make sure you know what to do. Do you have an isolation plan, do you have a go bag? We are in a health disaster, so we have to prepare for it. If you feel you are positive, isolate, but you should have already known beforehand where the isolation facilities are. Don’t go out to do shopping, go to work, attend birthdays, or other events,” Panes said.
She also advised empowering families against the disease by doing “family planning” or members of a family sitting down together to discuss preparations in case one member or their breadwinner contracts the virus.
“The same should be done at the workplace. Maybe workers need to plan their meal time, so that not everyone eats at the same time and prevent possible transmission and the like. There are a lot of things we have to sacrifice because we are in the middle of the war and our goal is how to survive the pandemic,” she said. – Hanna C. Lacsamana