Baguio pushes for mass testing of COVID – 19 suspects,probable cases
BAGUIO CITY, Apr. 15 (PIA) – – The city government is now pushing for mass testing of suspected and probable cases as part of the enhanced strategies to effectively control the spread of virus and prevent further infection of COVID – 19 in the summer capital.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong, in a video teleconference with Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya on Tuesday, shared that the city government is using a rapid testing kit that has been a big help in identifying potential cases that need to be submitted or prioritized for confirmatory laboratory testing to the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center.
The city government has already done rapid testing of 360 suspect cases and he expects the arrival of donation of more rapid testing kits. It will be a continuing strategy for the city along with the enhanced contact tracing that is being implemented, he added.
Magalong calls for the support of the national government particularly the Department of Health for the provision of additional PCR machine, reagents and testing kits for the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC), a subnational COVID – 19 testing laboratory.
The mayor explains that to facilitate the mass testing which is also now a national strategy of the health department, BGHMC needs additional PCR machine and more reagents and testing kits as BGHMC is not only serving the city and the rest of Cordillera, but the whole northern Luzon and even some parts of Central Luzon.
Malaya assured that he will personally bring this concern directly to the officials of the Department of Health.
For Baguio City’s campaign against COVID – 19, Magalong in the Laging Handa Public Briefing with Presidential Communications and Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar, shared the strategies the city is doing in the control of the spread of the virus.
Magalong said the city is strictly implementing the ECQ rules especially on social distancing, curfew and restricted movement of vehicles and people. Controlled flow of people going to the city public market and supermarket/groceries is being imposed.
Another stringent rule is the “no mask, no entry” policy in groceries, market and other establishments allowed to operate under the present situation. Everyone who are outside their residences who required to wear facemasks for their own protection.
The police personnel are tapped to strictly implement this policy.
As of April 13, Baguio City has 15 confirmed cases with 11 already recovered, three other patients admitted in hospitals and on the road to recovery, and one death with the patient who had co – morbidity condition.
As the city government is currently pushing for enhanced contact tracing and mass testing, Magalong reiterates his call for the strong support and commitment of the people of Baguio in winning the fight against COVID – 19 the soonest possible time. (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)