THE Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC), Cordillera’s biggest tertiary hospital, has closed its doors to some patients under the strain of increasing COVID-19 incidence in the province.
Under the strain of increasing COVID-19 incidence and the growing occupancy of the hospital, the BGHMC has limited patient admission to only emergency cases from the Baguio, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay (BLISTT) area, and will be turning away non-emergency cases.
The hospital is also suspending the conduct of elective surgery admissions in order to make way for disinfection procedures in the hospital.
Only a week ago, Baguio’s hospitals reported a 77 percent healthcare utilization rate, or total usage of the city’s healthcare facilities.
Previously, the BGHMC also implemented a no-visitor policy to help better contain COVID-19 spread among its patients and visitors.
The policy, which continues up to today, prevents COVID-19 cases from having watchers.
Watchers will only be allowed for those who are physically challenged, senior citizens, or minors.
Since 2020, the hospital has set up a triage at its garden area and has required all persons entering the facility to first pass through the triage to be able to guide and assist patients where to go for their medical needs and prevent people from wandering at the premises.
To arrest the spread of the virus, Mayor Magalong, said there is a need to expand restrictions in other aspects to prevent the situation from getting out of hand even as it remains manageable as of the present time.
Last Sept. 2, he issued Executive Order No. 106 series of 2021 which suspended non-essential travels from all areas, regardless of quarantine classification to take effect from Sept. 3 to 19.
Moreover, he also ordered the adjustment of the modified liquor ban hours so that starting Sept. 3, the ban on sale and consumption of liquor and other alcoholic beverages was from 8:00 p.m. to 12:00 noon of the following day.
The order also extended home restrictions for the 17 years old and below age group.
The mayor said that from July onwards, the city has had a 30 percent increase in its confirmed cases with an 85 percent hike in cases among persons aged 17 years old and below.
Since the third week of August, the city has been registering an average of 87 cases daily with case clusterings recorded in households and workplaces.
All these amid confirmation of a local transmission of the Delta variant cases, now said to be the dominant variant in the country.
“There is a need to impose additional restrictions to halt widespread community transmission and to enable our response and action teams to regroup for better offensive against this continuing health threat,” the mayor said.
The mayor, who spearheaded the city’s early preparations against the Delta variant, had earlier warned that Delta’s impact will be greater and longer than that of the Alpha and Beta variants given its more transmissible and more virulent nature. – with reports from Aileen P. Refuerzo