BAGUIO Mayor Benjamin Magalong is seeking to petition the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to lower the city’s COVID-19 alert level status to Level 2 as data from the city, University of the Philippines Baguio (UPB), and OCTA all indicate a decline in COVID-19 incidence in the city.
The mayor cited a positive trend across all of the major analytics used to determine risk ratings by the research groups and the IATF-EID including reproduction number, average daily attack rate (ADAR), weekly growth rate, two-week infection growth rate, positivity rate, vaccination rate, healthcare utilization rate (HCUR), and occupancy rate in LGU-managed isolation and quarantine facilities as evidence that a downgrading to Alert Level 2 is appropriate.
“Our case reproduction number went above 1.0 starting December 23 and we were able to lower it back below 1.0 on January 21 or after 29 days. For Delta it took us one month and two days. Today is our 12th day with an Rt below 1.0. I am confident it will go down further,” Magalong said on Sunday.
The reproduction number represents how many cases stem from a single known infected individual, which according to OCTA fellow, Dr. Guido David, is only at 0.54. A value below 1 indicates low transmission of the disease.
However, while the city’s reproduction number and HCUR of 54 percent are considered at low to moderate risk, David says that the city’s ADAR of 31.28 per 100,000 population and 28 percent positivity rate still poses concerns even as the infection weekly growth rate of the city sits at -59 percent.
Magalong however is still citing the overall downtrend as valid reason to downgrade the alert level of the city, which he says the data will support.
“From a high of 693 cases a day, we are now down to 141. This is based on onset of symptoms. Looking at the trend, it will continue to be on a downhill,” he added.
City Health Officer Dr. Rowena Galpo said that as of February 2, Baguio City has been tagged as moderate risk, down from high risk in the previous month.