P78M allotted for Covid-19 containment efforts
The city council on Monday has approved through Ordinance 40, s. 2020 the use of P78.107 million for the programs, projects, and activities in the containment of coronavirus disease-2019 in Baguio.
The amount is a component of the national government’s bayanihan grant to cities and municipalities to help local government units in the fight against the Covid-19.
As per guidelines provided under Circular 125 dated April 7 by the Department of Budget and Management, the grant would be for the local government units’ anti-Covid-19 operations, such as procurement of personal protective equipment for frontline service providers; medicines, and vitamins; hospital equipment and supplies; disinfectants and related equipment; relief goods for low-income and vulnerable households; and tents for temporary shelter of the homeless; food, transportation and accommodation expenses.
In Ordinance 41, s. 2020, an additional P10.240M was appropriated as cash assistance to the 128 barangays of Baguio for their projects, programs and activities in addressing the Covid-19 in their respective areas, subject to DBM guidelines.
The amount was taken from the city’s P150M anti-Covid-19 fund previously appropriated under Ordinance 30, s. 2020.
The measures state that the barangays have already distributed relief goods to their constituents using their quick response funds during the imposition of the month long enhanced community quarantine and have already exhausted their funds to sustain relief operations taking into consideration the extension of the community quarantine until April 30, thus, they should be provided with funds for their everyday expenses in the fight against Covid-19 in their respective jurisdictions.
The barangays would receive the cash assistance with varying amounts depending on their determined/assumed operational expenses for the duration of the ECQ. As per provided listings, 39 barangays will get ₱60,000 each; 51 barangays ₱80,000 each; 37 barangays ₱100,000 each, and one barangay for ₱120,000.
In Resolution 211, s. 2020, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Department of Health were requested to provide additional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines for Baguio including reagents and chemicals for its use.
These are intended to supplement the only PCR machine being used at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center given by national government from the World Health Organization.
BGHMC is one of the accredited sub-national laboratory testing centers for Covid-19.
The council, through Resolution 212, s. 2020, has supported Mayor Benjamin Magalong’s request for the use of certain buildings at Teachers’ Camp as offsite quarantine area for returning overseas Filipino workers of Baguio.
The move is in line with the city’s “one-step ahead” policy in containing the virus through strict observance of quarantine protocols and isolating affected individuals in a secured place to ensure their fast recovery.
It is in anticipation of the arrival of OFWs in the city to be accommodated for sufficient time for their required quarantine and rapid testing in an ideal isolation area away from residential areas for the protection of the public. The said offsite care center is for arriving OFWs in the city only to verify and confirm that they are free from Covid-19. The facility will be run through the joint efforts of the city government and other appropriate agencies.
The body in Resolution 215, s. 2020 has requested all those who recovered from the Covid-19 in Baguio to donate blood plasma to help in the treatment of confirmed Covid-19 patients.
The resolution recognizes there is no known vaccine and specific medicine yet to prevent or treat the disease, but relies on experts’ view that plasma or the fluid part of blood contain anti-bodies that could combat the virus that have infected patients.
It cited the curative effect of convalescent plasma therapy, which relies on the fact that people who have recovered from a viral infection have antibodies in their blood that can rapidly detect and destroy the virus the next time it attacks. Infusing the plasma into patients, and potentially into people at risk of being infected, can boost their immune system and potentially provide protection.
Aside from other countries that are said to have practiced the therapy, two elderly coronavirus patients in South Korea have recovered from severe pneumonia after being treated with plasma from survivors.
The plea is for the nine patients who recovered as of April 11 who are potential plasma donors.