City still in ‘low risk’ status as increase in Covid expected due to F2F classes

City still in ‘low risk’ status as increase in Covid expected due to F2F classes

The Summer Capital is still classified as ‘low risk’ in terms of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections as of August 22, this year, but local officials are expecting the number to increase in the coming weeks due to the start of face-to-face classes.

During the regular management committee meeting of city leaders led by Mayor Benjamin Magalong at City Hall, August 23, City Health Services Office (CHSO) head Dr. Rowena Galpo said that the city’s positive rate for the past two weeks was 15.33 percent while weekly infection came at 0.84.

She said the city’s average daily attack rate for the period was 11.7/100,000; growth rate of -6.8 percent (789 to 735); and 342 average tests done in the past two weeks.

As of August 22, hospital critical utilization rate was at 22.96 percent (87/379) while the city’s isolation facility bed occupancy was 23 percent (63/275), Galpo disclosed.

For his part, the  Mayor reiterated his earlier warning that an increase in covid cases would be inevitable with the resumption of face-to-face classes in the city considered as the Educational Center North of Manila.

He stressed, however, that this should not deter the continued conduct of in-person schooling to improve the students’ productivity and learning processes and avert the effects of virtual learning such as low level of assimilation of students.

“We need to learn to live with the virus. We cannot anymore sacrifice the students’ educational needs that they cannot get from the virtual system. Kailangan na talagang pumasok ng mga estudyante,” Magalong said.

While inside the classroom, both officials emphasized the need for teachers and students to strictly adhere to minimum public health standards like the wearing of face masks and isolating themselves when experiencing symptoms. – Gaby B. Keith