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Magalong wants more restrictions for Baguio to stem Covid surge

STEP DOWN FACILITY. The Baguio City Community Isolation Unit at the Sto. Niño Hospital is one of the stepdown facilities eyed by the city said mayor Benjamin Magalong to address the shortage of hospital beds with the expected surge the coming days. Pigeon Lobien / RNG

Despite imposing more restrictions to Baguio’s General Community Quarantine status, Mayor Benjamin Magalong wants more stringent control measures to stop surge of Covid-19 cases.

While tightened measures had been adopted since the start of the month including the stop of non-essential travels to the city, a modified liquor ban that starts at 8AM until noon the following day, or an eight hour window, and people 17 years under not allowed of their residences, the mayor wants a formal declaration so the city can enforce full force the restrictions.

Magalong has already made the request with the Department of Interior and Local Government Cordillera through its OIC-Director, Araceli San Jose.

Magalong has since last month raised the alarm that cases will surely rise by September believing that the Delta variant will wreak havoc.

The first six days of this month alone, 871 cases had been logged or an average of 147 cases a day which also saw the number of active cases swell from 347 in August 4 to four fold or 1,344 by September 6.

“As I keep on repeating, the worst is yet to come with regards to the Delta variant. So the best thing apart from the observance the minimum public health standards, is for us to adopt more restrictions,” Magalong said Monday.

As early as July, Magalong has already made preparations for the Delta variant, a more severe and contagious form of the various.

Magalong believes the Delta variant will have greater and longer impact to top what the city experienced during the first trimester of the year, which he said were driven by the Alpha and Beta variants.

The City Health Services Office records showed that the surge last April resulted to 3,046 cases, 740 alone on the first six days.

Meanwhile, Magalong assured residents that his office is doing its best to have sufficient hospital beds with the expected increase of Covid-19 cases in the next days.

Magalong also said that as part of the contingency plan for the Delta variant, stepdown facilities have been readied to accommodate hospital patients on convalescence can be transferred.

“Patients with moderate symptoms who turned mild or asymptomatic can be transferred to these stepdown units so that hospitals can be declogged and will have room for other patients with moderate or severe symptoms,” the mayor said.

The Baguio City Community Isolation Unit at the Sto. Niño Hospital is eyed as one of the stepdown facilities, said the mayor.

He said, his office also currently working to have the Teachers’ Camp Isolation Facility accredited as a stepdown facility for augmentation.

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