Baguio mayor seeks reclassification of city's community quarantine

Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong on Thursday, May 28, appealed to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to exclude his city among the local government units that would remain under general community quarantine until June 15.

Magalong said that in the IATF's Resolution No. 40, Baguio City was the only local government unit in the Cordillera included in the extension list. 

"Considering that Baguio has been relatively successful in implementing COVID-19 response and management measures within our borders, we are inclined to seek a reconsideration of our classification before the IATF Screening and Validation Committee," Magalong said.

The mayor appealed that Baguio be reclassified as under modified GCQ, instead. 

He said that Baguio has only two active COVID-19 cases and both are in stable condition. One of them is a police officer who contracted the virus in Camp Crame in Manila and only went home to Baguio, where he was informed of his positive status.

Magalong said Baguio's doubling time is 24.44 days, which is far from alarming.

He also said that Baguio is now fully equipped for mass testing, with 6 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines and two automated RNA extraction machines. It also has two unused sites – a hotel and an unused hospital which has been retrofitted a month ago – to use as isolation units if ever the situation would worsen. 

He added that the city's contact tracing system has been touted as a model scheme for the country.

Magalong also cited Baguio residents for the success of the city in containing the infection so far.

"In general, and since the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine, Baguio residents have been model citizens as they reacted positively to our security and safety regulations," he said.

"I say it with immense pride that the stability and progress of our city is realized through the shared responsibility and cooperation of the city government, our uniformed personnel, and our citizens," Magalong said.

He also said that the city has set up a stringent scheme to screen returning residents and those who asked to leave the city.

On Thursday, the Philippines reported 539 new coronavirus cases – the highest number of new cases reported in a day during the pandemic. In total, the country has 15,588, with 921 deaths and 3,598 recoveries. Rappler.com