Baguio frontliner recovers from COVID-19

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 6, 2020   •   212

Doctors, nurses, and other staff at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) erupted in cheers as a frontliner was discharged after recovering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The victory is even sweeter when they have to celebrate the recovery of a colleague, a fellow frontliner, a friend.

Jonover David, 33 years old, is among the frontliners who had to face the same virus they are fighting against.

“Ito iyong graduation na hindi ako nag-aral, pero ito iyong graduation na iniyakan ko talaga (This is the graduation I did not study for, but this is the graduation that brought me to tears),” he said.

Jonover is a CCU nurse at BGHMC and has been caring for people in the frontlines. He tested positive for COVID-19 and was admitted on April 15. He said his personal battle against the virus was not easy, but he was glad to have faced it with his colleagues.

“Hindi ko na-feel na pinandirihan ako. Hindi nila pinaramdam sa akin na kailangan akong i-blame. Bagkus ay inalagaan pa nila ako, (I never felt discriminated. They did not make me feel that I was to blame, instead they took care of me),” he said.

For Jonovan, the battle for him is not yet over. Once he is given the clearance, he would gladly return to the frontlines. AAC

Baguio City, nasa 2nd wave ng infection; pagpapatupad ng checkpoint at lockdown, mas hihigpitan – Magalong

Robie de Guzman   •   July 28, 2020

Magpapatupad ng mas mahigpit na checkpoint at border control ang Baguio City government kasunod ng pagtaas ng kaso ng novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) sa lungsod, ayon kay Mayor Benjamin Magalong.

Naniniwala si Magalong na nasa ikalawang bugso na ng COVID-19 infections ang lungsod kasunod ng mga ulat ng panibagong kaso.

Aniya, lumobo ang kaso matapos dumagsa ang mga tao sa mga mall, palengke at iba pang pampublikong lugar sa siyudad at pag-uwi ng maraming locally-stranded individuals kasunod ng pagluluwag sa antas ng quarantine.

“We’re now experiencing the second wave yah were now on the second wave nag-flatten na tayo eh,” ani Magalong.

Upang mapigilan ang muling pagdami ng COVID-19 infections sa lungsod, sinabi ng alkalde na ilalagay sa lockdown ang buong lungsod tuwing araw ng linggo.

Mas hihigpitan rin ang pagbabantay sa mga checkpoint upang masegurong nasusunod ang ipinaiiral na health protocols.

Inatasan na rin ni Magalong ang mga ospital sa lungsod na maghanda sa posibleng muling pagdami ng mga pasyenteng magpapa-konsulta.

“This is a result of opening up the economy so we just have to innovate, continue innovation, very aggressive sa contact tracing and then sa testing,” sabi ng alkalde na nagsisilbi rin bilang national contact tracing czar sa gitna ng pandemiya.

“I issued an executive order requiring barangay officials be more vigilant, and the encourage flu-like symptoms to report to the barangay so that they can be PCR-tested,” dagdag pa niya.

Noong Hulyo 27, pumalo na sa 98 ang kaso ng COVID-19 sa lungsod; dalawa sa mga ito ang nasawi, 51 ang gumaling habang nasa 45 naman ang kasalukuyan pang naka-confine sa medical facilities. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Grace Doctolero)

Baguio, Cebu City mayors appeal for reclassification of cities’ quarantine status

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 29, 2020

The mayors of Baguio City and Cebu City have appealed to the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) to reclassify their respective cities’ community quarantine status.

“Considering that Baguio is relatively successful in implementing COVID-19 response and management measures within our borders, we are inclined to seek a reconsideration of our classification before the IATF Screening and Validation Committee,” according to the appeal of Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong.

Magalong has appealed to the IATF-MEID to place Baguio City under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) instead of General Community Quarantine (GCQ).

The IATF-MEID, under IATF Resolution No. 40, recommended that Baguio City be placed under GCQ until June 15.

Magalong noted that Baguio City was able to successfully control the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) through their mass testing, and implementation of health and safety protocols.

Baguio City has recorded 32 confirmed COVID-19 cases; 29 of them have already recovered.

“With the steps we have already taken, the innovations we seek to accomplish, and the disciplined character of the Cordilleran people, you are assured that the City of Baguio will be exemplary in the implementation of MGCQ regulations,” the appeal reads.

Meanwhile, Cebu Mayor Edgar Labella also filed an appeal to place the city under GCQ instead of Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ). The IATF-MEID recommended for Cebu City to be placed under MECQ.

“Our case fatality rate remains at 1% while our recovery rate is already at 22% and we are seeing a downtrend on our COVID19 cases. I really hope that IATF will grant our request,” Labella said.

“It is but a logical step for the city government to transition into General Community Quarantine but with the corollary discretion to place under segmental and sequential lockdown critical areas,” according to Labella’s appeal.

The IATF-MEID has given local government officials to submit their appeal until Friday (May 28).AAC

Baguio City eyes gradual transition to general community quarantine

Robie de Guzman   •   May 6, 2020

Baguio City will undergo a “very, very gradual transition” should it be placed under general community quarantine after May 15 when the extended enhanced community quarantine is lifted, Mayor Benjamin Magalong said.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Magalong said the city government has prepared “calibrated, graduated sequential actions” on how to ease up restrictions on certain sectors.

“Baka within two weeks after May 15, baka parang nasa ECQ pa rin tayo,” he said.

He assured that these measures are compliant with the quarantine guidelines issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

The mayor said these measures include the opening of construction to address critical projects which are subject to strict evaluation.

This will be followed by the opening of the transport sector, normalizing of government operations and key economic sectors like manufacturing, business process outsourcing (BPO), opening of key hotels with restaurants, small establishments to include restaurants and retail, and then scaled-down entertainment, worship gatherings, family-oriented activities, in that order.

Magalong stressed that the opening of above-mentioned sectors shall be demand-driven and will follow certain schedules.

Big hotels, on the other hand, will not be allowed to open yet.

“We will always be aligned with the general provisions of the general guidelines of the GCQ,” he said.

“What I’m saying is we have a plan on how to transition, but ‘yung by scheduling, unti-unti. Pati borders, di ko basta-basta open for all,” he added, emphasizing that systems will be put in place like on-line registration.

As to the operation of its Sto. Nino Hospital, which is designated as a COVID-19 facility, the mayor said, it is physically ready and is just awaiting finalization of staffing.

He said the hospital staffing will be funded by the DOH while the administrative support which include provision of security and utility manpower, will be shouldered by the city government.

He said that after May 11, they expect that all other hospitals in the city will no longer accept COVID 19 positive patients, except for Sto. Nino and BGH-MC.

“Ayaw natin mixed-use yung hospital natin,” he added.

Magalong said the city is finalizing proposed modifications in the general guidelines under GCQ, which will be shared with the public in due time.

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