Baguio folk asked to take covid quarantine precautions seriously
As city faces probability of having positive cases
BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Benjamin Magalong March 20 called on residents here to take social distancing, curfew, travel restrictions and other coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Enhanced Community Quarantine precautionary measures to heart as the city faces the eventuality of having confirmed cases in the coming days.
The mayor told a press briefing that there are currently “three to four highly probable cases and one death” awaiting confirmation by the Department of Health. He said that ahead of the confirmation, the City Health Services Office under Dr. Rowena Galpo had facilitated contact tracing and quarantine protocols for possible contacts.
He assured that the city continues to prepare to contend with the eventuality of handling positive cases, arresting contamination and addressing the basic needs of those whose means of livelihood were affected by the health crisis.
Before the press meet, the mayor convened the city management committee and ordered the mobilization of all prevention and response programs. Social distancing, curfew and travel restriction and other ECQ procedures continued to be reviewed and polished to make the scheme effective in reducing the number of people on the streets even as he appealed to the public for understanding when sudden policy changes cause confusion.
“The policies implementing the Enhanced Community Quarantine, being new, are a work in progress. The city troubleshoots and adjusts and fine tunes as the situation requires and this will continue until we achieve our ultimate goal of a COVID-free community, the mayor said.
The mayor said there were gaps identified in the preparations but these are now being addressed.
He asked health officials to consider suggestions to improve their system of responding, handling and addressing cases.
The city will set up its containment center at the Lindi Hotel along Legarda Road which has been offered for free use to the city.
The 34-room edifice with complete lodging facilities will house persons under investigation(PUIs) with mild symptoms.
City Administrator Bonifacio Dela Peña and City Health Officer Rowena Galpo who inspected the facility recently said the city will work out the installation of the required medical equipment, houseekeeping system and other provisions needed to make it operational starting March 20, 2020.
The response mechanism to cushion the effects of the COVID measures on the vulnerable sector has been set in motion with the Office of the City Social Welfare and Development and the city’s barangay officialdom at the helm.
The mayor and Dela Peña observed also on March 20 the process flow employed by the Office of the City Social Welfare and Development from receiving all the way to distributing food items from the Department of Social Welfare and Development to the barangay recipients as part of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response cluster program of the national government.
The mayor commended OCSWADO Betty Fangasan for the efficient, systematic and accountable handling of the relief goods along with the donations being received by the city from private individuals and organizations.
The mayor assured barangay officials and residents that with the system, the relief items will reach their target beneficaries as he promised that the city will do everything to address the needs of those affected by the health crisis.
The process of receiving, recording, itemizing, repacking and distribution is being done by the OCSWADO in coordination with the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, City Engineering Office, City Buildings and Architecture Office and some private volunteer organizations.
Concerns on relief goods may be directed to the following: KAP. BENJIE MACADANGDANG, CITY MAYOR’S OFFICE – 09165943463; MR. BRICCIO DOMONDON, MAYOR’S SPECIAL SERVICES OFFICE – 09473221605/ 09151495784; and COUNCILOR MICHAEL LAWANA, ABC President through his FB Account. ** Aileen P. Refuerzo