February 9, 2023

Behavior change is the cheapest way to combat the Covid-19 infection.

This is why the City Health Services Office wants the public to change their attitude towards the Covid-19 and think about the impact of the infection on their loved ones more than themselves.

CHSO-Infectious Disease Division Head Donabel Panes said protecting oneself from the Covid-19 should be an individual responsibility, adding that protection and breaking the chain of transmission are not expensive things to do.

Panes said change in individual’s attitude remains the most practical way to combat the Covid-19 while there is no vaccine yet against the infection.

“Observing the minimum health protocols is not expensive. It’s not expensive to wash hands, wear your face masks and face shields, or bring you hand rubs with you. Behavior change is difficult, but it’s very effective (in preventing the Covid-19 infection),” Panes said.

She added transmission can be prevented even without the vaccine, as shown in other countries that were declared Covid-19-free by the World Health Organization.

As of Oct. 13, Baguio’s Covid-19 cases reached 1,488 of which majority are contacts of previous positive cases and are asymptomatic.

Panes said the city government has put in place measures to prevent the Covid-19 and to respond to cases, but added the public must do their part for these government measures to work.

She added the public must understand that most of the positive cases logged are asymptomatic, or those who do not manifest the symptoms of the infection.

“The problem with the Covid-19 is that, you can infect people even if you do not have the symptoms and it takes two to five days up to 14 days before others know that they have been infected. This is why we always emphasize that everybody should act like they are carriers of the virus. For a novel virus like the Covid-19, there is no such thing as overprotection,” Panes said.

She added the minimum health protocols must also be observed in the households because no one is immune from the virus that causes the Covid-19, especially if there are members who regularly goes out of the house to work.

“In our contact tracing, usually ang hawaan ay sa bahay because of the close contact among members,” Panes said. Close contact involves the element of time, which is 15 minutes; and space, which is less than one meter between people.

“Our cases did not appear at random, it came from somebody, may connection sa previous cases.”

CHS Officer Rowena Galpo said residents should not be complacent, especially that the city government has opened up the economy and more people are expected to go out of their homes.

More than monitoring sectors, workplaces, and establishments on their compliance with the minimum health protocols, Galpo said the CHSO is also making sure that the needed interventions are put in place, like in areas with poor ventilation. – Jane B. Cadalig