Baguio sees spike in virus cases over weekend due to heightened testing

Frank Cimatu
Mayor Benjamin Magalong places a record 22 barangays on lockdown due to the surge

From 19 cases on Friday, July 24, Baguio’s active COVID-19 cases more than doubled over the weekend – with 12 more on Saturday and 14 more on Sunday (a case from Saturday was delisted) – for a total of 44.

Prior to this weekend, Baguio had recorded only 48 total cases since March, with two deaths.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong placed a record 22 barangays on lockdown due to the surge so his team could facilitate contact tracing and disinfection.

“Alarming as it seems, I want to assure the public that we are prepared for the surge,” Magalong said.

He explained that Baguio’s heightened risk-based mass testing brought on the rise.

“Our plan to conduct expanded testing targeted at 10% of the population comprising various sectors, which began 3 weeks ago, will push on in the coming days,” he said.

“We have been working non-stop to keep our isolation, treatment, and critical care facilities ready,” he added.

Magalong also said during the City Hall flag-raising ceremony that he will be implementing stricter border control.

“I repeat, only necessary and essential travel will be allowed into Baguio. Those who will be allowed in must follow our triage and registration procedures,” he stated.

The city’s Sunday total lockdown policy will again be implemented, with no one allowed to go out of their homes, and with no city market for that day.

Magalong later signed Executive Order 115, which calls for the return of the liquor ban starting July 26 up to August 9.

On Monday, the Philippines reported 1,657 new cases, bringing the total to 82,040. –