Magalong: Baguio has been under weeks of heightened restrictions vs COVID-19 spread


Posted at Sep 24 2021 09:39 AM | Updated as of Sep 24 2021 10:13 AM

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MANILA—Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong on Friday said the local government has been implementing stricter measures against COVID-19, even weeks before Malacañang announced that the Summer Capital of the Philippines will be in general community quarantine with heightened restrictions until September 30.

Magalong said he requested the National Task Force and the Inter-Agency Task Force for such a restriction almost 3 weeks ago after observing an increase in COVID cases in August 20.

“Formalities na lang ’yun. Maganda nu’ng in-affirm kaagad ng Department of (the) Interior and Local Government at may endorsement kaagad sila when we requested for certain measures at itong mga guidelines bordering on MECQ and heightened restrictions,” said Magalong.

(That's just a formality. What's good about it was that it was affirmed by the DILG and immediately endorsed when we requested for certain measures and guidelines bordering on MECQ and heightened restrictions.)

Malacañang on Thursday placed Baguio, Abra and Bohol under GCQ under heightened restrictions in which indoor dine services can operate at 20-percent venue capacity while al-fresco services can run at 50-percent capacity.

Beauty salons, barbershops and nail spas are allowed to operate up to 30-percent capacity while outdoor attractions shall be allowed 30 percent venue capacity with strict adherence to minimum public health standards.

Magalong said the city’s active cases is now at a total of 3,700.

“ ’Yung daily average cases ngayon 240 kaya lang significant number din dito galing sa ibang probinsiya. Nagreregister lang sila na taga Baguio sila dahil marami silang kamag-anak dito para makapag-avail ng mga facilities dito kasi puno na rin sa ibang mga probinsya,” he said.

(Our daily average cases now is at 240, but a significant number there came from other provinces. Many registered as Baguio residents because they have relatives here and to avail of our facilities since those in other areas are already full.)

In an interview on TeleRadyo, Magalong said the city’s hospital utilization rate is now at 90 percent, as of Thursday. Meanwhile, the local government managed quarantine and isolation facilities, which have about 975 beds, is now at around 74 percent.

“More than 586 ang nasa home isolation ngayon (now),” he said.

Almost 97 percent of those stricken with COVID-19 are asymptomatic and mild but they observed that the fatality rate could surpass their record in April. 

“Halos malalampasan na namin ’yung record namin nung April na 87 deaths brought by the Alpha and Beta variants. Hindi pa tapos ang buwan, almost 70 plus na kami ngayon. Sa tingin ko malalampasan namin fatality figure nu’ng April,” the mayor said.

(We almost surpassed our April fatality record of 87 brought by the Alpha and Beta variants. The month is not yet over but were not almost 70 plus. I think we will surpass our fatality figure in April.)
Meanwhile, Magalong said the city extended non-essential travel up to September 26, especially since more than a thousand examinees of the Professional Regulation Commission are expected to go up to Baguio over the weekend.