The transmission of the Covid-19 cases in the Cordillera is slowing down as shown by the weekly monitoring of the Department of Health.
As opposed to the Nov. 6 to 12 cases where 1,269 cases were reported, there were 379 new cases reported from Nov. 13 to 19.
But the DOH has cautioned the public that Covid-19-related deaths for the same period increased by 74, or from 68 from Nov. 6 to 12 to 142 from Nov. 13 to 19.
The DOH also reported of the six provinces and a highly-urbanized area in the region, Apayao, Mountain Province, Ifugao, and Baguio City are on alert level 3 or moderate risk due to the high two-week growth rate, average daily attack rate, case fatality rate, and health care utilization rate.
The four areas have the highest attack (or infection) rates in the region.
As of Nov. 23, Baguio has the highest attack rate of 8,010.68 per 100,000 population, or 8,000 out of 100,000 have been infected followed by Apayao with 6,947.12, Mountain Province with 5,035.15, and Ifugao with 4,700.96.
Health experts attributed the downtrend to the increasing number of people getting vaccinated but DOH Asst. Regional Director Amelita Pangilinan said the pattern does not mean the public must let their guard down.
She said the public should continue adhering not only to the minimum health protocols but also avoid the possibility of getting infected by wearing the correct type of face mask, avoid crowded areas, keep enclosed spaces ventilated, isolate if you suspect that you are infected, be honest to contact tracers, seek immediate consultation, and get vaccinated.
Infectious diseases expert, Dr. Thea Pamela Cajulao of the Baguio General Hospital said as more people become mobile and gather in crowds, the higher the possibility of infection.
“Hindi pa rin tapos ang pandemic,” Cajulao reminded.
While health workers welcome the fact that there are lesser people being admitted in hospitals, she said the cases currently handled at the BGH show that there are many who are severe and critical.
BGH is the Covid referral hospital in the Cordillera.
Citing the cases of the United States of America, United Kingdom, and India, Cajulao said the surge in cases was when restrictions have been relaxed. She said the trend in these countries showed that there was a lull first before a sudden increase in cases was reported anew.
She added that hospitals such as BGH is still on alert and continues to purchase Remdesivir, Tocilizumab, and the experimental anti-Covid-19 pill, Molnupiravir, for the treatment of severe or critical Covid-19 patients.
As of Nov. 23, a total of 639,927 have been fully vaccinated in the Cordillera.
To achieve the 70 percent target to achieve population protection, over 253,000 still need to be vaccinated out of the 1,275,904 registered eligible population in the region. – Rimaliza A. Opiña