Mayor hopes for sustained Covid-19 case downtrend amid threat of “saddling”, onset of cold season

Mayor Benjamin Magalong expressed hope that the downtrend in the city’s Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases will hold for months  amid the possibility of “saddling” or case rebound and the onset of the cold season to afford both the health care and economic sectors enough breathing spell to rest and recover, respectively.

“Hopefully, our situation as far as the Delta variant is concerned will continue to stabilize in the coming months barring the possibility of a saddle and the onset of cold season,” he said.

Saddling, he said, refers to the instance when cases go on a downtrend then settles some to form a plateau before suddenly shooting up again.

“I hope it won’t happen to us while we gradually ease up some of our restrictions to help our economy bounce back amid the lowering of cases with the caution and safety measures that we will continue to observe and implement, the vaccination accomplishment that we have and the cooperation of our residents, neighbors and visitors,” he said.

He said the weather factor is also expected to contribute to the increase in cases as viruses thrive more in a cold environment but he said he trusts that the vaccines will also help prevent this from happening.

He said that at present, the city is seeing continued decrease in new cases although death incidence and moderate and severe cases have remained high but not for long as these figures are expected to also dip within the week.

Hospital care, isolation facilities and oxygen utilization rates have also gone down considerably.

“Our cases have decreased from an average of 280 cases a day a month ago to 70 cases a day.  Mataas pa rin ang death natin but we’re expecting a downtrend in the middle of this week.  Marami pa rin ang severe at critical cases but our hospital care utilization rate has gone down considerably that we can now transfer the severe cases formerly admitted in our city-run temporary treatment facilities to the hospitals.  Even the demand for oxygen has gone down so that we now have sufficient supply,” the mayor told reporters Oct. 25. 

During the management committee meeting Oct. 26, he commended the Baguio City Health Services Office under Dr. Rowena Galpo and all city departments for helping the city achieve an early downtrend in cases. 

He said the city managed to lower the cases after one month and three weeks which is relatively faster as some cities in the country are still in the thick of the fight against the Delta after two or even three months.

He shared the achievement to all health workers, government line agencies and instrumentalities, the private sector and the local residents and BLISTT communities who he said did their best and made sacrifices to realize said goal. — Aileen P. Refuerzo