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BAGUIO’S COVID-19 TRANSMISSION DECREASING BUT STILL ON HIGH LEVEL
May 27, 2021 – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) transmission in the city has decreased but remained on a high level.
The City Health Services Office under Dr. Rowena Galpo said there was sufficient evidence of reduced transmission because in the past 14 days until May 26, the city’s time-varying reproduction number (Rt) or the average number of secondary cases a COVID-29 patient would infect, had been less than 1, the threshold number.
City Epidemiologist Dr. Donnabel Panes said the Rt is one of the case frequency measures used to assess the level of community transmission and as per the guidelines, having Rt of less than 1 consistently for 14 days would statistically affirm a slowdown in the spread of the virus in a locality.
The daily number of COVID-19 cases in the city had also evidently decreased from April 20 to May 21 but Panes said the city still needs to show improvement in the other indicators to attain a controlled transmission status.
Panes said the city’s transmission level remained high and that there is still no evidence that it has been controlled in the community level. The city also remained on situation level 3 in terms of its transmission level and response capacity which is still high on the scale.
“The virus is still locally acquired and infection is now not focused on populational sub-groups unlike before when we were certain because it is concentrated on certain groups like banks, groceries and the like. It is not the case in the past three months as we cannot anymore identify the specific groups infected,” she said.
She said however that most case clusters occur in homes and workplaces.
Based on the 7 day moving average indicator or the number of cases expected in the next seven days, the number of daily cases is still far from the manageable level of 19 cases per day.
Panes said for 2021, cases started to peak last March when the surge occurred and now 50 percent of the total number of cases of over 12,000, were recorded just from March 6 to the present.
The positivity rate or number of cases who turned positive among those tested had remained high as it had not gone down to less than 5 percent threshold since March 21, 2021.
Panes said the city under Mayor Benjamin Magalong has continued to work to strengthen the control systems to attain its goal to “break the chain of transmission to manage cases and not put so much pressure on the health care system and at the same time continue economic activities without compromising the health of the community.”
As of May 21, the city contributes 34 percent of the total number of COVID-19 cases in the Cordillera. It also ranks 20th among all cities in the country in terms of COVID-19 cases. – Aileen P. Refuerzo