March 3, 2024

Mayor Benjamin Magalong has allayed the public fear over reports that Baguio is one of the top high-risk areas for Covid-19, saying the city government has put in place systems to manage the situation well.

“It’s true that our cases are increasing but we are doing something about it. We have a very concrete way of managing our cases,” Magalong said in a message posted on the City Public Information Office (PIO) Facebook account on Oct. 21.

Magalong said while Covid-19 cases are increasing, which are attributed to the outbreaks at Sto. Niño-Slaughterhouse Compound, City Camp Proper, and Lower Lourdes Subdivision, the city government was able to control it through aggressive contact tracing and testing.

The mayor was reacting to the report of the University of the Philippine’s OCTA Research Team that cited Baguio as second to Makati City in the list of top high-risk areas for the Covid-19, using the high number of cases recorded daily and its critical care occupancy rate as factors.

The OCTA Research Team said Baguio’s attack rate is at 11.1 percent while its hospital capacity is at 69 percent as of Oct. 17.

A report from the PIO, citing data from the City Health Services Office, however, pegged the attack rate from the 30, 33, 25, 31, and 45 reported cases from Oct. 12 to 16, respectively, at 0.0798, 0.0877, 0.0665, 0.0824, and 0.1196 per 1,000 population. 

The daily attack rate measures the proportion of the population that contracts the disease in an at-risk population.

For Oct. 17, six cases were reported, which translated to an attack rate of 0.0771 per 1,000 population.

Magalong has asked the public not to worry, saying the city government knows where the cases are and where the outbreaks are happening.

“We are on top of the situation. We know where it (cases) is happening, how it is happening, and we are doing our best to institute various types of systems to manage the Covid-19,” he said, adding the city’s ability to detect and locate those who are infected by the virus that causes the Covid-19 are the major reasons cases are increasing.

Baguio City’s testing capacity rate is pegged at 16.9 percent – RT-PCR and antigen tests.

The city has recorded close to 60,000 RT-PCR and 6,000 antigen tests from the city’s population of 370,000.

Magalong added the city continues to increase the isolation facilities in Baguio and the kits for testing are more than enough that the city is sharing some with the neighboring towns of La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba, and Tublay and Kapangan, all in Benguet to also increase their testing capacity.

“We are also helping. Ang layo ng discrepancy ng testing natin, we are doing 400, they are doing 30. We need to help our neighbors in testing because our people are crisscrossing our borders,” he said. – Jane B. Cadalig