Magalong expects number of COVID-19 cases to rise in Baguio with expanded testing

Published August 26, 2020, 10:44 AM

by Zaldy Comanda

BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Benjamin Magalong bared that the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was likely to increase as the city government started to target as many as 5,000 grocery and supermarket workers for mass testing.

Magalong made this disclosure even as he reported five new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, August 25, where four of them were grocery store workers subjected to expanded or targeted testing.

He said around 5,000 workers are going to be subjected to mandatory testing, and the city expects more cases to surface from the retail sector. 

Mandatory testing began two days ago, and owners of grocery store and supermarket in the city have until August 27 to have their workers tested for COVID-19.

Magalong said “using a positivity rate of 11 percent, an estimated 600 of those tested may turn up positive for Covid-19.”

Magalong said that with the aggressive testing that comes with the steady influx of test kits, the city expects to have a clearer picture of the extent of the medical emergency in the city.

Earlier, case clustering or the occurrence of two or more cases in an area was recorded in one supermarket early this month prompting Magalong to require company-financed testing for all workers, including merchandisers.

“It showed how susceptible the sector is to the virus. Mandatory testing would help identify who among them are carriers so that we could immediately isolate them,” Magalong said

As positive cases surfaced, disinfection, contact tracing, lockdown, quarantine and isolation, testing and medical protocols are immediately being expedited as agreed upon by the city government and the establishment owners.

The five new cases are a 20-year-old female from Barangay Gibraltar, a 35-year-old female from Barangay Kias, and a 57-year-old male, who was symptomatic and was from Barangay Camp 7.

The residence of the two other infected workers were withheld pending the issuance of lockdown orders for their areas of residence.

As of 5 p.m., August 25, the city has a total of 292 confirmed case, 89 active, 195 recoveries and eight deaths.