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121 cases denied by DoH Cordillera, BGH lab

ON THE VERGE. Mayor Benjamin Magalong gives boxes of face masks to Association of Barangay Council chair and councilor Michael Lawana for the use of barangay officials in their efforts to help stop spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) at the Baguio Convention Center recently. Magalong has signed with mayors from Baguio’s neighboring towns for a stricter travel between local government units, while a general community quarantine is expected to be declared in the region by February 1 by Malacanang due to the surge of Covid cases. Photo from Neil Onbgchangco / PIO - Baguio

Baguio folks were alarmed Wednesday, January 27, as reports from national outfits say that 121 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases were tallied.

It was supposed to be an all-time high, supposedly breaking the 85 the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center recorded on Monday.

But late report from the Public Information Office – Baguio showed that it was only 18. The BGHMC laboratory denied the report that placed Baguio in tie with Cebu and higher still than Metro Manila cities, the country’s most affected with the pandemic.

“Baka raw may error [Department of Health] DoH national according to BGH Lab kasi they double checked the dates pareho naman (Maybe it was an error by the DoH according to BGH Lab since they double checked the dates, it is the same),” PIO – Baguio chief Aileen Refuerzo said.

“So they’ll (BGH Lab) alert the DoH national,” she added.

The report sent Baguio people to frenzy as the city is on the verge of another stricter lockdown, a general community quarantine that is expected to be declared on February 1 and will end on February 15.

The city and its neighboring towns of La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay have agreed for stricter inter-local government unit travel where residents are required to get and show health certificate upon entry to an LGU.

The general public’s fear was also intensified after the Tim Yap party at the Manor at Camp John Hay where the celebrant and celebrity KC Concepcion partied in wild abandon and them later having photos with mayor Benjamin Magalong and wife Arlene, the latter not wearing face mask. The photos were posted on Facebook drawing flak for the two year mayor.

The PIO was only able to post the Covid-19 update at 8:56 PM when it was usually posted before 7PM, the second time it did after Monday’s record setting 85 cases that broke the 77 in October last year when more than 1,000 cases were logged.

“I do not know where the national news got their data as definitely they did not come from the DoH-CAR. Since Jan. 1, wala pa kaming data na umabot ng 100 ang cases sa Baguio (we do not have any data where cases reached 100 in Baguio),” said DoH – CAR director Ruby Constantino during the Kapihan sa Baguio press conference today, January 28.

Last Tuesday, the city logged 50 cases from 551 tests done.

Baguio has 544 active cases, some 18 percent of the region’s 1,395 cases. Benguet has 260, the third highest in the region, after Mountain Province 266, while Kalinga has 190 cases.

Ifugao,. Apayao and Abra have 98, 19 and 18 active cases, in that order.

The region has 11,363 cases of Covid-19 of which 4,878 come from Baguio, with Benguet coming in second with 4,080. Kalinga has 1,106 total cases, followed by Mountain Province, the last province to log its first case and it now a hotbed.

Tabuk has been declared under enhanced community quarantine, while the seven other towns are under ECQ or Modified ECQ status starting March 25 and will run for 15 days, pre-empting the declaration of GCQ in the region by Malacanang.

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