AMID the rampant ongoing spread of COVID-19 ravaging the city of Baguio, Mayor Benjamin Magalong remains confident that the city can meet and fully vaccinate its target population of 95 percent of the city’s residents by year end.

The numbers are currently bleak, with the city experiencing nearly 250 cases a day on average, with a current active case total of more than 3,200 cases increasing daily.

To date, 450 deaths due to COVID-19 have been recorded in the city, with the current surge leading to a daily average of seven deaths. 

The past record of highest deaths in a single month was 87 in April of this year, but according to Magalong, the city has already seen 70 deaths to date in September with more than a week still to go in the month.

He also said that the surge is driven heavily by the Delta variant, of which 25 cases have been confirmed to date. He however claimed that there are more cases of this variant in the city.

“While it is true that the PGC report stated that we have 25 Delta variant cases, it does not actually reflect the volume or number, it just tells you the spread of the disease, in terms of, if you look at the geospatial analysis it just tells you where the disease is spread and not the volume. But looking at our latest analysis, our analytics, it looks like the Delta variant has already overtaken all other variants in the city,” Magalong said.

Magalong said that the surge continues because of Delta powering the disease through the city’s preparations.
“We were preparing, we were stocking up on supplies, on medicines, on oxygen tanks, increasing our health capacity, especially our quarantine and isolation facilities. I also alerted our hospitals, told them ‘stock up on your supplies, stock up on your supplies, and increase your capacity,’” Magalong said.

He said that the surge is likely to last for at least another one and a half months, and urged residents to be wary.

However, he also lauded the city’s vaccination efforts and remained optimistic that the city can vaccinate 90 to 95 percent of its population by year end.

Currently, the city has some 46 percent of its eligible population fully vaccinated, and 60 percent having received at least the first dose of a vaccine.

“We broke a record when we hit 30 thousand doses in one week, and this week, we are targeting to hit 50 percent, 50 percent plus fully vaccinated this week. So we must break through the 21,000 doses threshold,” Magalong said.