Covid cases decrease determines Baguio’s opening to tourism

A continuing downtrend of Covid-19 cases in the city could mean opening the city to fully vaccinated non-essential travelers very soon, Mayor Benjamin Magalong said in several interviews last week.

The announcement came after data analytics show that reproduction numbers, critical care utilization rate, occupancy rate and the number of Covid-19 cases are slowly descending, with recoveries going up.

A sudden rise in cases once the city eases border restriction, creates a hesitation in the part of the city, the mayor admitted. 

Mayor Magalong also considered the health workers as they need respite from the recent surge. “We make sure that decrease in cases are sustained, and that we do not open too early, para makapagpahinga naman ang mga health workers natin,” he emphasized. “However, gumaganda na rin ang situation sa medical facilities natin,” he added.     

The mayor said the city has purchased 50-lb and smaller oxygen tanks for the use of severe and critical cases, which some sadly, has resulted to death. Close monitoring is being done for all cases, including asymptomatic and mild cases in hospitals, quarantine and isolation facilities, the mayor assured. Those on home quarantine are also being monitored by their respective barangay health workers, he added.

A meeting with city physicians also happened earlier, with their sense of civic responsibility; volunteering the conduct of telemedicine which would be very helpful in contactless consultation.

The opening of the city to tourists serves as a great help to the economic sector, agriculture and the tourism-oriented sector, he added. Children may be allowed to travel with their families, as long as they are antigen-tested, he further said.

If leisure travel is approved, tourists will be monitored for strict compliance to minimum public health standards (MPHS), such as the proper wearing of face mask and shield, social distancing and frequent hand sanitizing. They are also advised to register with within 24 hours of travel and present vaccination card and other needed documents. 

Essential travels have always been allowed, with registration to and presentation of vaccination card, if fully vaccinated. A negative result of RTPCR or Philippine Red Cross saliva test together with the QR code generated from the online registration suffices if the traveler is not fully vaccinated.

It was emphasized that full vaccination is achieved 14 days after the second dose. — Julie G. Fianza