Magalong says Baguio in control of COVID cases as high recoveries are recorded

BAGUIO CITY - Twenty-nine patients recovered from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on Wednesday, the highest in a day, which gave the city a 75 percent recovery rate and significantly reduced the active cases to 65.

BACK TO THE GRIND – Baguio City Police Office non-uniformed personnel and contact tracing team analyst Mischelle Junio was one of the five recovered patients discharged on August 25. She is shown being cheered by the medical staff of the Baguio City Community Isolation Unit at the former Sto. Niño Hospital Jesus Medical Center. (PIO Photo/ MANILA BULLETIN)

"We are doing okay in so far as the management of our local pandemic is concerned because of our crisis management capability, testing capacity, contact tracing efficiency, critical care, isolation and quarantine facilities, and treatment capability,” Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong said.

"Our cases may be increasing but we are in control. We have situational awareness of why our cases are increasing because we were the ones who found them through expanded testing and now that we know who are the carriers, we are able to determine who else are infected through aggressive contact tracing," he added.

The patients were part of those who were listed when the city experienced a surge in cases weeks ago. The recoveries underwent 14 days quarantine at the city's isolation facilities.

To date, there are 224 recoveries from a total confirmed cases of 297 since the first case was reported in the third week of March. There were eight deaths reported.

The 65 active cases are in isolation at the different medical facilities and Baguio City Community isolation facility in the former Sto. Nino Hospital. 

Mayor Benjamin Magalong said that the high recovery rate is a result of the early detection that comes with the fast contact tracing. This process allows the immediate placing of the suspects in quarantine and isolates the close contacts who turn out positive after a swab test.

He said all close contacts of positive patients are found by the contact tracing teams within 24 hours and subjected to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing. 

Magalong also cited the enhanced random mass testing of the city government that aims to swab test at least 10 percent of the population. 

The city's testing capacity is considerably higher than in other areas in the country. The city has done more than 35,000 swab tests vis-a-vis its floating population of 450,000. There are areas in the country with millions in population but have only done 5,000 tests.

Meanwhile, five new cases were recorded, three of whom from the ongoing targeted testing of grocery stores, one from contact tracing, and one for other reasons i.e. travel/work/pre-medical procedure requirement:

The new cases on Wednesday are a 43-year-old male; a 25-year-old male; a 29-year-old female from Happy Homes Old Lucban barangay; a 42-year-old male; and 27-year-old female.