March 31, 2023

Baguio has recorded its first case of B.1.1.7 or the UK variant of Covid-19 virus, confirming the suspicion that the more infectious Covid virus is already in the city when the first cases in the Cordillera were earlier detected in Mountain Province and Benguet.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong on March 3 reported the Department of Health has confirmed to them the city’s first case on March 2 following the result of its test from the Philippine Genome Center.
The case was detected on Feb. 12 as positive for Covid-19 and had in fact recovered by Feb. 23. The specimen was sent to the PGC and its results came out only on March 2.
The patient has been under a work-from-home arrangement around last week of January, therefore subjecting the immediate household members to contact tracing.
Health authorities are also investigating whether the patient had contacts with any of those who tested positive for the UK variant from Bontoc, Mountain Province,
Magalong said the city is doing everything to break the transmission.
“Matindi ang ating contact tracing. Ginagawan natin ng paraan para malaman natin kung saan ito nanggaling, ano ang source, and we are intensifying our contact tracing to break the chain of transmission,” Magalong said.
The mayor earlier warned about the possibility that the UK variant was already in the city when its first known cases were detected in Bontoc with 13 cases and one in La Trinidad late January.
He said residents need be aware of the fact that the UK variant is now in the city and for them to intensify compliance to the minimum public health standards and to always be careful to avoid being infected with the virus, especially after the National Interagency Task Force issued guidelines easing local travel requirements even while Baguio remains under the general community quarantine status until March 31. – Hanna C. Lacsamana