92 police trainees afflicted with COVID-19; Baguio City posts highest recovery cases

Published October 1, 2020, 9:52 AM

by Zaldy Comanda

BAGUIO CITY –- Good news and bad news. The country’s Summer  Capital posted its highest number of recoveries from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in a single day on Wednesday but 92 police trainees assigned at the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) and detailed as frontliners during the start of the pandemic are afflicted with the coronavirus.

The new COVID-19 isolation facility in Lubugan, Kalinga. (Photo by KDH/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Majority of the new COVID-19 cases in the city were contacts of current cases and came from the case clusters identified earlier, including Barangay Lower Lourdes Subdivision where most of the affected police trainees live in one compound. Six were symptomatic and two underwent expanded testing.

BCPO City Director Allen Rae Co said the police force in the city remains to be in high morale despite the surge in the number of COVID-19 cases involving members of the PNP.

He said there are more than 200 trainees who are close contacts of those who tested positive but were already quarantined to prevent the further spread of the virus.

Co said those who were infected are part of the more than 400 police trainees that are undergoing field training in the city. They were deployed in March and have been on duty in the past six months to man quarantine checkpoints, implement the lockdowns of barangays, and patrol different areas in the city such as the public market and other areas of convergence. 

Data from Baguio COVID-19 for the month of September showed that the city recorded a total of 603 cases with 267 recoveries.

As of 5:00 p.m of Sept.30, the city has a total of 947 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic, 427 active cases, 508 recoveries, and 12 deaths.

On Sept. 28, the city recorded 68 cases, the highest case in a single day and another 68 on the following day.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the escalation of COVID-19 cases will not affect the reopening of the city’s tourism industry to Region 1 starting October 1.

Magalong said the outbreak in two barangays which triggered the spike was not caused by random or unidentified cases but was due to contacts of current cases tracked in contact tracing activities.

This means that almost all of the cases connected to previous patients have been contained or quarantined since the detection of the main case.

“We don’t expect the outbreak to affect our tourism plan. After all, we know where the cases are coming from and containment measures have been done before their diagnosis came.In fact, we expect more cases to happen in the next days because of the continuing contact tracing and expanded testing but we are okay because we know where our cases are coming from and have undertaken measures,” Magalong said.

In a related development, the Kalinga District Hospital inaugurated its coronavirus disease (COVID-19) isolation facility in the town of Lubuagan.

Kalinga District Chief of Hospital Dra.Maria Rhoda Bravo said the facility has three rooms with toilets, beds , kitchen, wide lobby, and a picturesque view of the Kalinga mountains.

It will serve as a temporary treatment health facility for Lubuagan COVID-19 patients.

Gov. Ferdinand Tubban said the provincial government aims to empower district hospitals and assured that there will be more support that will be given to Lubuagan.