MAYOR Benjamin Magalong will try to persuade the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases to lower the city’s COVID alert level status from Level 3 to Level 2 as the promised opening of Panagbenga may be compromised.
“Our case reproduction number (Rt) went above 1.0 starting Dec. 23 and we were able to lower it back below 1.0 on Jan 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,” the mayor said.
“From a high of 693 cases a day (seven-day moving average), we are now down to 141. This is based on the onset of symptoms. Looking at the trend, it will continue to go downhill,” he added.
But OCTA Research Group said Baguio should not be complacent.
Baguio, Puerto Princesa in Palawan, and Santiago in Isabela may still be considered as “high risk” either due to a very high number of new cases or reproduction number, OCTA fellow, Guido David, said.While Baguio and Santiago recorded negative growth rates in the average number of new cases, the average daily attack rate (ADAR) is still considered ”very high” as of Wednesday.
Baguio recorded an ADAR of 65.8 daily new cases per 100,000 people while Santiago had 27.63.
Data from the City Health Services Office (CHSO) indicate that Baguio’s COVID-19 situation is improving and has stopped from aggressively worsening, but the independent OCTA research group says that the city is still considered high-risk as the numbers continue to indicate a concerning level of case incidence.
During the previous week, on January 27, 3070 active COVID-19 cases were recorded in the city, bumping up the all-time total to 39,077 cases.
While COVID-19 incidence continues to take place, data from the CHSO on February 3 showed only 1,459 remaining active cases in the city, less than half the active cases from the previous week.
The latest totality of cases comes up to some 40,325 total cases in the entirety of the city’s record.
Magalong said that all other analytical graphs and data (ADAR, weekly growth rate, two-week infection growth rate, positivity rate, vaccination rate, HCUR, occupancy rate in LGU-managed Isolation and Quarantine facilities) reinforce the city’s assessment that cases are going down.
The analytics are being done in collaboration with the University of the Philippines Baguio.
“Omicron is undoubtedly the dominant variant but we still have Delta, based on the PGC data released in December. This probably accounts for some of the fatalities this month,” the mayor said.
City Health Services Officer Dr. Rowena Galpo, in her report to the Management Committee on February 2, said the city’s epidemic risk level has gone down to moderate risk based on the average daily attack rate and the two-week growth rate as of February 1.
The daily case average dropped to 334 in the week of January 23-29 from 637 from January 16-22 while the daily recovery average increased to 560 from 419. Death average slightly decreased from 23 to 19.
The case positivity rate also decreased to 36.15 percent from the previous week’s 45.7 percent. The highest positivity rate reached by the city during this peak was at 48 percent from January 9-15.
The weekly infection growth rate is now 0.71 percent or less than one which means that transmission has started to decrease. This went as high as 7.71 on January 2 to 8 and 6.9 on January 9 to 15.
The average daily attack rate (ADAR) plunged to 74/100,000 population from 98.1/100,000 and the two-week growth rate decreased to -29 percent from 187 percent.
The daily average test was 417 in the past two weeks.
Hospital care utilization rate went down to 63.72 percent from 68.7 percent while isolation facility bed occupancy has further decreased to 30.14 percent from 69.95 percent. – With reports from Aileen P. Refuerzo