Baguio logs 48 Covid-19 deaths in 17 days

The COVID-19 vaccination rollout in Bontoc continues catering to those who belong to the A1 category to include frontline workers in the health services and the members of the Barangay Health Emergency and Response Teams (BHERTs).** Photo by Jovi Lopez

‘Covid-19 cases under control with high testing, tracing’– Magalong

BAGUIO CITY – This city has recorded a total of 48 deaths due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in a span of 17 days starting April 1.
The number is based on consolidation of the statistics of the city’s Covid-19 tracker.
On Saturday (April 17) evening, the city’s Public Information Office reported no death due to the virus.
However, records also show that on April 9, the city logged the highest single day death record of nine since the pandemic started in 2020.
The oldest casualty is 90 years old and the youngest is 31.
Dr. Bernard Demot, adult infectious disease specialist at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC), in a press conference last Thursday said there are many patients who only seek consultation when their illness is at a late stage.
“Mahirap nang i-reverse at magamot (it is already difficult to reverse and cure it),” he said.
He noted that there are now more patients who do not have comorbidities but become severe cases due to delayed medical intervention.
He also said that as of April 15, of the 131 active cases who were admitted in BGHMC, a Department of Health-managed hospital and the biggest tertiary medical facility in the Cordillera, 91 have severe condition and with oxygen attached to them, while seven are in critical condition.
He also said that out of the 20 mechanical ventilators devoted to the Covid wards, 12 are in use.
From April 1 to 15, the hospital recorded 36 deaths compared to the 19 total deaths in March.
Demot assured the public that BGHMC will not refuse any Covid-19 patient who needs to be in a hospital even if they are almost in full capacity. He said the hospital management will look for a space for all patients.
Demot also reminded the public to avail of the hospital’s teleconsultation service at the onset of Covid-19 symptoms, so they could be guided by a medical professional if they decide to stay at home. Teleconsultation, according to him, is free of charge.
Affording a glimmer of hope, Mayor Benjamin Magalong on Tuesday said the city government is on top of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) situation and knows where the problem is despite the high number of cases recorded here.
“We are hitting 150,000, our (swab) testing is almost 39 percent of the population, mataas din ang contact tracing ratio natin (our contact tracing ratio is also high),” Magalong said.
He said while the city has been recording a high number of cases each day, they are able to capture real-time what is happening on the ground.
“Importante mataas ang testing, mataas ang contact tracing, talagang naka-capture mo at ramdam ang nangyayari sa ground (what is important is we have high rate of swab testing and contact tracing and we are able to capture and feel the situation on the ground). If you don’t test, if you have low contact tracing ratio and low incidence of Covid but underneath, nagbi-build ang steam, puputok na lang yan at mabibigla ka (it is accumulating steam, it will suddenly blow up and you will be surprised),” Magalong said.
According to the city’s Covid-19 tracker as of Monday, it has conducted a total of 156,968 reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests. The city has a population of 370,000.
Aside from massive swab testing, the city also consistently holds aggressive contact tracing with the most recent done on April 15 to 17.
“We are now working on the temporary treatment and monitoring facilities (TTMF) like that at the Baguio Convention Center which we will put up in front of BGHMC (Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center). In principle, approved na yan (that is already approved) and we are just formalizing with the national IATF so that it can be fast tracked in time for rainy season para may additional rooms tayo (so that we will have additional rooms),” Magalong said.
The modular hospital extension will have at least an additional 30 to 40 beds.
Magalong said the city is also continuously increasing the city-managed isolation facilities.
He said the Sto. Nino community isolation facility is only 60 percent occupied and is continuously being increased in capacity with the purchase of new hospital beds and refurbishment of the other parts of the former hospital building.
There is also the Teachers Camp isolation and quarantine facility, several small facilities near the Health Services Office, and the latest, the Eurotel below the Baguio City Hall where some floors will be used as isolation and others will be sleeping quarters of medical workers.
At present, the Critical Care Utilization Rate (CCUR) of the city is 83 percent and total active Covid-19 cases of 1,305.
Based on a consolidated daily report from the city public information office, Baguio has recorded a total of 1,272 recoveries in a span of 19 days from April 1, which cuts the number of occupants in isolation facilities whether in a city-managed facility or in a hospital. **Liza Agoot, PNA

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