December 5, 2022

The Philippine Genome Center has released the results of sequencing conducted on samples taken from patients with Covid-19 in the Cordillera.

As of May 4, there are now 101 cases of Covid-19 variants recorded in the region – 98 B117 and three B1351. Mountain Province still has the highest number of B117 infections with 30, Baguio with 27, Benguet with 15, Ifugao with 11, and Kalinga with 10 cases.

For the B1351 variant, two cases were recorded in Ifugao and one in Abra.

Department of Health-Cordillera Assistant Director Amelita Pangilinan said 59 have already recovered, one refused to undergo repeat RT-PCR test, and six died. Thirty-four are still for verification and ongoing is the backtracking of first to third generation contacts.

Of the 2,518 contacts traced, 2,248 have completed their isolation and were reintegrated into the community.

Doctors have reminded the public to follow health protocols as occupancy rate in hospitals remain high.

The region’s health care utilization rate stands at 72.51 percent occupancy rate. Broken down into bed types, 212 out of 299 ward beds are occupied; 326 out of 450 isolation beds are occupied; and 61 out 77 ICU beds are occupied.

Due to the increasing number of patients requiring hospitalization, several hospitals in the region have expanded their bed capacities by converting the wards.

Three hospitals have reported adding more beds to accommodate patients admitted for Covid-19.

Apart from relocating the Psychiatry Ward to give way to the expansion of the adjacent Infectious Diseases Building, the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center has allowed the Flavier Building to accommodate Covid-19 patients.

Adult Infectious Diseases Specialist Bernard Demot said BGHMC now has 245 Covid-19-dedicated beds.

BGHMC also purchased 10 mechanical ventilators in addition to the 20 that the hospital currently has.

Demot said based on BGHMC’s admissions for May, there are 111 severe and 17 critical cases. Patients classified as critical usually need ventilators to aid them in their breathing.

Conner District Hospital head Nelson Rigor also reported that from 14, the hospital now has 18 Covid-19 dedicated beds.

For the Luis Hora Memorial Regional Hospital, it has converted its pediatric ward to accommodate not just patients from Mountain Province but also from Ifugao, which has recently been recording a surge in cases.

In Baguio, the two dormitories that have been reserved as isolation facility in February have been reopened to accommodate mild cases in case the Sto. Niño or Teachers’ Camp isolation facilities reach maximum capacity.

Also on standby are the modular isolation facilities at the Baguio Convention Center compound.

Baguio’s total isolation bed capacity is at 819 with 65.81 percent occupancy rate. – Rimaliza A. Opiña