Mayor: Baguio faces serious transmission

BAGUIO. Market goers follow the newly painted guides made by the Baguio City Police Office in an effort to promote social distancing inside the Baguio public market. (Jean Nicole Cortes)
BAGUIO. Market goers follow the newly painted guides made by the Baguio City Police Office in an effort to promote social distancing inside the Baguio public market. (Jean Nicole Cortes)

BAGUIO City Mayor Benjamin Magalong said Monday, April 27, that the Summer Capital is facing a serious Covid-19 situation after 10 health workers tested positive for the new coronavirus.

"It is a bit serious because for the past three days, we have 10 transmissions. It is serious, we expect there will be more cases in the coming days as we are conducting testing among health workers," Magalong said.

The mayor said the 10 health workers infected are in the 29-55 age group bracket.

On Sunday, April 26, there were four more health workers who tested positive for the virus. They include a 61-year-old female doctor and two female nursing attendants, both 34 years old, under the Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) confirmatory test.

They are from Barangays BGH Compound, Camp 8 and Sto. Niño, Bakakeng Central.

"We would like to find out the real situation because in the past weeks, all this data we are getting maybe artificial due to the fact that we have any expansive testing," Magalong added.

All the health workers are from the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC), which decided to close its doors to admissions in a bid to stop the possible widespread transmission of the virus in the locality and neighboring provinces.

BGHMC, which announced closure on Sunday, has partially reopened, saying "after carefully reassessing the safety risks of our hospital, we have adjusted work schedules of our staff in their respective areas in the hospital and instituted stricter infection control measures."

"As such, we are resuming admissions of patients in our hospital both Covid and non-Covid. However, we will have to scale down in areas where there is a high risk of infection due to new positive cases coming up. All other operations such as dialysis, OPD, and triage will resume but with limitations on strict infection control. Rest assure that the hospital is regularly exercising due diligence in making sure our healthcare workers are safe as well as the patients we serve," added the BGHMC statement.

Magalong, meanwhile, advised non-Covid patients to go to the Saint Louis Hospital of the Sacred Heart where arrangements have been made to accommodate them.

For mild and severe Covid-19 issues, as well as life threatening cases, the BGHMC will still be accepting patients as special wards have previously been set up to accommodate these cases.

Magalong said mass testing for health workers is now ongoing, with the BGHMC romping up tests to process at least 200 tests a day.

With test kits and PCR machines expected to arrive, soon testing is expected to increase as much as 400 a day.

Two barangays -- Barangays Camp 8 and Bakakeng Central -- were locked down for contact tracing.

Previous areas on lockdown are Sto. Tomas Proper, BGH Compound, San Luis, Sector 5 Dominican-Mirador and Woodsgate Subd. Camp 7.

On Saturday, April 25, there were also eight new cases involving two doctors, one nurse, and one hospital clerk, two overseas Filipino workers, one employee of the Baguio Country Club and an eight-day-old baby confined at the Pines City Doctors Hospital.

Overall, the city now has 29 confirmed Covid-19 cases with 16 active, 12 recoveries and a lone death.


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