Baguio City Mayor asked the public to observe minimum public health standards amidst surge in cases
Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong appealed to the residents of the city to strictly observe minimum public health standards such as wearing medical-grade facemasks, observing physical distancing, avoiding crowds, and social gatherings. The appeal was mentioned by the City Mayor during the Ugnayan Panlungsod today.
Currently, Baguio City is experiencing a surge in cases. The positivity rate is up from 0.2% in December up to around 17% at present according to the City mayor. In the latest data coming from City Health Services Office and PIO, the number of new cases recorded last Jan. 9 and 10, 2022 are 310 and 110 respectively.
With the surge of cases the City is experiencing, the threat of the Omicron variant, and the fact that it is now the dominant variant in the Philippines, the City has implemented and will be implementing measures to flatten the curve brought about by this COVID-19 variant. The following are just some of the measures that were discussed during the “Ugnayan Panlungsod”.
Hybrid Antigen Self-test Kit
A Hybrid Antigen Self-test Kit will be made available to the public soon in Baguio City. As initially mentioned by the City Mayor, the Hybrid Antigen Self-Test kit will cost P250.00. The reason why this is called a hybrid self-test antigen kit is that the patient/individual will conduct self swabbing using the swabs included in the test kit, however, the swabs must be brought to the testing facility to determine the result. Unlike with self-test kits provided in other countries that the results will be determined immediately through the test included in the self-test kit. The rationale presented by the Mayor on why a hybrid test is necessary is to make sure that results are properly documented and reported and to immediately isolate those who might be found to be positive for COVID-19.
Where to buy it? The Mayor mentioned that there will be several satellite sales areas however, a pilot test will be conducted in 3 barangays before the full implementation of the program.
Wearing of Medical-grade Facemask
The City Mayor reiterated his call for everyone in Baguio City to wear medical-grade facemasks instead of cloth masks. This is due to the fact that medical-grade facemasks are proven to be effective in protecting an individual against the virus compared to that of a cloth mask.
Controlling Movements of the Unvaccinated
The Mayor mentioned that the LGU will be waiting on the final decision of the national government on the issue of limiting the mobility of unvaccinated individuals. He however mentioned that there are already some establishments implementing their own policy of not allowing unvaccinated individuals into their establishment.
Jeepney Partition and 70% max capacity
Recently, citizens have called on stricter implementation of the 70% maximum capacity in Jeepneys in lieu of the partitions which was earlier removed. The Mayor mentioned that instead of partitions Jeepneys will provide markers. To further control the flow of people, Police and POSD personnel will be deployed at Jeepney stations to help monitor the observance of the 70% maximum capacity in jeepneys and the wearing of medical-grade facemasks.
Patient transport vehicles
With the current surge of cases, the City Mayor foresees that the current number of patient transport vehicles will not be enough. To augment the current number of patient transport vehicles, the City plans on renting vehicles as well as asking help from other departments to allow the use of their vehicles for patient transport.
On Face-to-Face classes
The city government will be meeting with the Commission on Higher Education to determine whether or not to push through with face-to-face classes.
Agressive Community Testing
The City Mayor also mentioned that aggressive community testing will be scheduled after acquiring about 3,000 RT-PCR test kits.
At the end of the “Ugnayan Panlungsod” the City Mayor reiterated the call for the public to protect themselves from the virus by strictly observing the minimum public health standards.