Like the Delta variant, Omicron will hit Baguio City and it is now just a matter of time before a case is detected, Mayor Benjamin Magalong warned on Nov. 29.
“I am hoping that Omicron will not hit us this Christmas but looking at the latest developments, there is a big possibility. I don’t like to spoil our Christmas but I really hope we will be spared,” the mayor told the media.
“The moment it hits Manila, then we will also surely be impacted considering that majority of tourists are coming from the National Capital Region.”
The mayor however said the city is confident that it can deal with the effects of Omicron the way it did with the Delta variant.
“I hope will be able to suppress this but we can be confident that we will be able to handle it with the positive developments on our front, the readiness of our control systems and the lessons and experience that we had with the Delta variant,” the mayor said.
He said Omicron, the fifth variant of concern, appears to be three times more transmissible than Delta with some affected countries experiencing mercurial rise in positivity rates.
It is initially found to have an unusually high number of mutations in its spike protein which experts fear could make it more transmissible, resistant to vaccines and capable of causing higher risk of infections.
But the mayor said the bright side is that there are indications that its infection is not that severe even as studies on the variant are continuing.
After weathering the Delta scourge and with the eased up quarantine protocols, the city reopened its badly hit tourism industry and geared up for a better Christmas.
Although it prepared limited number and low-key activities for Christmas, the city is prepared to cancel these when the situation calls for it. – Aileen P. Refuerzo