Following the World Health Organization’s (WHO) announcement that Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19) ‘can be characterized as a pandemic,’ the alert level for the disease was raised to Code Red Sub-level 2 in the Philippines yesterday, March 12, 2020. Now, the city government of Baguio is working on intensifying efforts in preparation for preventing the spread of the disease.
UPDATE AS OF March 17, 2020: Entire Luzon is now under Enhanced Community Quarantine
Baguio remains Covid-19-free
As of today, March 13, 2020, Mayor Benjamin Magalong says that Baguio City remains free from Coronavirus Disease despite circulating unverified reports of positive cases. He also clarified that the public market and the city, in general, are NOT ON LOCKDOWN.
However, the mayor also said that it is possible and not far-fetched to have positive cases in the coming days due to the increasing number of people contracting the virus in other parts of the country.
Guidelines for Prevention of Covid-19 in Baguio City
In line with this, the city government has set up several preventive measures in response to the Covid-19 threat.
Here are hotline numbers that residents can call if they suspect themselves developing signs and symptoms like acute respiratory and influenza-like illness.
- Cellphone Number: 09422692649
- Landline: (074) 665-2757
Persons who think that they have signs and symptoms of Covid-19 can go directly to the nearest district health center or medical facility like Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) for the triage assessment.
Those with mild symptoms are encouraged to proceed to the nearest district health center first.
Setting up of Containment Center
With the help of various hospitals and the Department of Health – Center for Health Development – Cordillera (DOH-CHD-CAR), the city of Baguio will set up a containment center for persons under investigation (PUIs) at the PFVR Gym located at 82 Military Cutoff Road.
Operations at the containment facility will be headed BGHMC Medical Center Chief Dr. Ricardo Runez Jr., together with doctors, and medical staff coming from different hospitals.
According to City Health Officer Rowena Galpo, DOH-CHD-CAR will issue operational guidelines for the said facility.
Disinfection of Areas and Facilities
As mandated by the mayor, the following areas shall be massively and intensively disinfected immediately:
- Government offices
- Baguio City Public Market
Moreover, private establishments and the transport service sector are also mandated to do intensive disinfection.
Process of Sanitization
As recommended by DOH, Dr. Galpo said that areas and facilities frequently touched or used should be sanitized at least once a day with a mixture of bleaching products and water at a ratio of 1:100.
The Baguio City Hall will be disinfected during the weekend while Market Superintendent Fernando Ragma said that they will disinfect roads, alleys, and stalls in the public market immediately.
Preventive Measures in Offices
Mayor Magalong also encourages offices to implement preventive measures like using thermal scanners and limiting entrances to three.
Alternative Work Arrangement
The city mayor also asked departments to implement a temporary suspension of conducting flag ceremonies and big crowd meetings and adopt alternative work arrangements without affecting the provision of services to the people as per the order of the Civil Service Commission (CSC).
The mayor encourages the public not to panic and to regularly check on updates on Covid-19 only from reliable sources like DOH, WHO and other government agencies.