June 24, 2021 – Baguio City is readying contingency measures against the Delta coronavirus variant said to be more severe and more contagious than the other variants.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong during the Management Committee (ManCom) meeting June 22 said the city will again expand its capacity on the aspects of prevention, detection, isolation and treatment.

Focus will be given on the following: adding isolation facilities and beds in anticipation of increased hospitalizations due to the new variant’s propensity to cause more severe symptoms; expediting vaccination, intensifying compliance to the minimum public health standards, among others.

“We are going to get hit.  It is just a matter of time but we can do something to slow it down and try our best to manage it by building up our capacity,” the mayor said.

The World Health Organization said the Delta variant, which was first identified in India last February, “may emerge as the dominant coronavirus variant globally.”

The Dept. of Health said “it is believed to be 60 percent more contagious than the Alpha (UK) variant where one positive person can infect eight persons and that people infected could be more likely to be hospitalized.”

At present, the country has detected a total of 17 Delta variant cases.

City Health Officer Dr. Rowena Galpo said that the following measures will be conducted:

*To ensure early detection, aggressive contact tracing, monitoring of clusters and aggressive testing of sectors at risk

*Tightening of control at points of entry

*Enhancement of minimum public health standards by monitoring compliance in the barangay level, public places, work places and limiting mass gatherings,

*Completion of quarantine or isolation period and encourage the use of facility isolation

*Ramp up vaccination roll out by opening other vaccination sites and hiring more vaccinators and recruiting volunteers

*Protecting the vulnerable group through home visits by the barangay health workers and provision of immunity boosters

*Enhanced information campaign on minimum public health standards

* Enhance management of cases, ensure logistical supply chains; and

* Imposition of lockdowns and ensure supply of food and essential need and conduct of disinfection measures.  – Aileen P. Refuerzo