COVID-19

Cordillera region closely monitored due to rising cases, hospital occupancy

Bonz Magsambol
Cordillera region closely monitored due to rising cases, hospital occupancy

SESSION ROAD. Traffic buildup in Session Road in Baguio City. Photo by Mau Victa/Rappler

Mau Victa/Rappler

'We are closely monitoring the area and working with them so we can improve the situation,' says Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire

The Department of Health is closely monitoring the pandemic situation in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases and increasing rate of hospital occupancy

In a virtual press briefing on Wednesday morning, January 20,Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the CAR attack rate or the number of cases over the total population in a given area has been high for the past weeks.

“We are closely monitoring the area and working with them para maiayos natin ang sitwasyon (so we can improve the situation),” Vergeire said.

CAR’s attack rate from January 3 to 16 is of 4.80, the highest among all regions.

Based on Rappler monitoring using the DOH data, CAR has 10,392 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of January 20. Of the total, 2,019 are active cases, placing it at 5th spot among regions with the highest number of active cases. Virus epicenter Metro Manila remained at top spot with 7,557 active cases, followed by Calabarzon (4,039), Davao Region (2,672), and Central Luzon (2,375).

About 61% of the active cases in CAR are from Baguio City (629) and Benguet (596).

In terms of hospital bed occupancy for COVID-19, CAR topped the regions at 63.3%, which is still at a moderate level. However, critical care utilization in the region has reached critical level at 93%.

On October 22, 2020, Baguio City reopened its doors to tourists from Luzon but with a cap of 200 tourists a day. In December, Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the City of Pines has opened to travelers from Visayas and Mindanao, raising the cap to 1,000 tourists per day.

Experts studying the coronavirus outbreak in the country has urged the government to step up its fight against COVID-19, as cases in the country increased after the holidays, and following the detection of a fast spreading variant of the virus in the United Kingdom.

The Philippines on January 13 detected its first known case of UK COVID-19 variant in a 29-year-old Quezon City resident who arrived in Manila from Dubai on January 7. – with reports from Michael Bueza/Rappler.com

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Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.