September 28, 2023

Baguio City and all six provinces of the Cordillera are classified as having minimal risk for the Covid-19 and still have no cases of the Omicron variant as of Dec. 21.

Based on the latest data on Covid-19 health indicators provided by the Department of Health-CAR, all areas in the region have recorded a decreasing number of cases in the past four weeks and all provinces are in the safe zone in terms of isolation, ward, and intensive care unit beds; and use of mechanical ventilators.

The region experienced the highest peak of Covid-19 cases last Sept. 19 to 25 where 6,350 cases were recorded as driven by the Delta variant.

DOH-Cordillera Asst. Director and spokesperson Amelita Pangilinan said the region has maintained minimal to low risk in terms of health system capacity and epidemic risk level in the last two weeks.

She said the region indicated a negative two-week growth rate and less than one percent average daily attack rate (ADAR), placing the region at minimal risk level.

Abra registered the lowest ADAR at 2,000 cases per 100,000 population and Baguio, with the highest, at 8,000 attack rate.

The region’s hospital utilization rate and use of isolation units and temporary treatment and monitoring facilities are also low.

Pangilinan reported as of Dec. 21, the region has a total of 93,111 Covid-19 cases and only 101 or 0.11 percent of this are active cases. A total of 90,751 cases or 95.47 percent have recovered and 2,240 or 2.41 have died.

The region’s case fatality rate of 2.49 percent, however, is higher compared with the national rate of 1.79 percent and 1.95 percent global rate.

Out of the 101 active cases, 34 cases are asymptomatic, 33 cases are critical, 23 are mild, 10 moderate, and one is a severe case.

In terms of monitored SARS-CoV2 variants, Pangilinan said the region submitted more than 3,700 samples to the Philippine Genome Center for full genome sequencing and 25 percent of which or 934 samples were positive for variants of concern and most are Delta variant.

The region still has no cases of the Omicron variant, which Pangilinan said is a current threat as it is three to eight times more transmissible than the Delta variant and has more than 32 mutations which can impact the behavior, spread, and severity of the Covid-19 infection.

The Cordillera is among the areas in the country that is currently under alert level 2. A higher alert level signifies that transmission is increasing and that healthcare capacity is worsening and approaching surge capacity.

The DOH called on the public to heed the alert system as it is reflective of the Covid-19 situation. 

Sana huwag tayong maging complacent. Improving case trends and increasing vaccination coverage should not entail complacency. Lahat ng hindi pa nabakuhan, please, get your jabs done. Together we can make this new normal a better normal. Help us help you so that we can heal faster, recover stronger, prepare better, fight harder, and rise higher as one Cordillera. Let us stay positive in outlook, but not of Covid-19,” Pangilinan said. – Hanna C. Lacsamana