December 5, 2022

Baguio City remains relentless in its efforts to protect its citizens from the Covid-19, made more alarming by the now dominant Delta variant in the country, according to the World Health Organization.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong said it is the core of the city’s road to recovery, with Covid-19 operations at the helm to protect residents by attaining “95 percent herd immunity, nothing less.”
In his State of the City Address delivered during the 112th Baguio Charter Day on Sept. 1, Magalong reported the city is armed with a four-point contingency plan “where controls are put in place at the point of origin through travel bans and restrictions; at points of entry through screening, quarantine and testing; at points of care by implementing the prevent, detect, isolate, treat, and reintegrated strategy; and management of an epidemic surge through strict community health protocols.”
Magalong said the city is now contending with a steady rise in infections, with 775 active cases as of Aug. 30, bringing the total number of Covid-19 cases since March 2020 to 17,352, six of which are Delta variant cases, and a total of 342 deaths.
With the Delta variant in mind, the mayor reported the city government is expanding the capacity of its main isolation facility at Sto. Niño along with additional private accommodation facilities as buffer.
Home isolation has been adopted for asymptomatic patients and those co-morbidities so as not to further burden the isolation facilities. Granular lockdowns are also still being implemented.
In terms of vaccination efforts, Magalong said P120 million has been reserved to procure vaccines, and he also made sure that aside from vaccines the city purchased, the city gets its fair share of vaccines from the national government, which distributes donated vaccines from the WHO-Covax facility.
As of Aug. 30, a total of 93,357 eligible residents are already fully vaccinated and 141,330 have received their first dose of anti-Covid-19 vaccine – or a total of 234,587 doses administered by the City Health Services Office.
Magalong said the city aims to vaccinate all senior citizens soon, who are currently 71.48 percent vaccinated.
To strengthen the city’s emergency operations center, a P75 M budget was reserved for the purchase of personal protective equipment, testing kits, medicines, disinfectant, food for Covid patients and health workers, vitamins and medicines for senior and vulnerable citizens.
The city has also tested via RT-PCR 229,341 residents, with an average of 722 tests per day, majority of which were shouldered through partnerships.
In terms of contact tracing, the city is capable of tracing 95 percent of close contacts within 24 hours, with a ratio of 1 is to 15 and all traced contacts put under quarantine and mandatory swabbing.
The mayor said the city remains the most efficient LGU nationwide in contact tracing efforts.
“Last year will always be remembered for the huge challenge to our collective capacity. Amid the continuing threat of a pandemic made more menacing by the Delta variant, we have remained unfazed, undaunted, and unbroken. We have kept the faith in each other, fighting it out, relying on one another to be safe, protected, and vaccinated,” Magalong said as he appealed for the public’s continued understanding and cooperation to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. – Hanna C. Lacsamana