Need for mobility control explained

BAGUIO CITY – (March 31, 2021) – Mayor Benjamin Magalong said there is a need to continually control the mobility of people to prevent the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation from getting out of hand.

He said restricting people’s movements will avoid exponential rise in cases which if undeterred will eventually result to an overwhelmed health care system like the one currently being experienced in the National Capital Region.

“We need to control the movement of people otherwise, we will end up in a similar situation, the very same one we have been trying to avoid in the course of our fight against the virus,” the mayor said.

The mayor said people should realize that the present number of cases is not a result of the events in the previous two or five days. Instead, it is reflective of the situation from as far back as 10 to 15 days ago.

“This is why if we see a spike now, that is reflective of what transpired 10 to 15 ago and there is a need for immediate interventions like restrictions in people’s mobility so that after the next10 to 15 days, we will see a downtrend instead of a further uptrend,” he said.

The mayor explained the 10-15-day lag in situational assessment was based on the actual circumstances: the virus incubation in the body usually lasts for five days and it happens that people do not immediately go for consult even after symptoms appear.

“They will still try to self-medicate which takes around three days and then they will finally go to the doctor who will then refer them to testing so plus one day and then waiting for results would take days too,” he said.

“This is why we have to be alert in closely monitoring mobility and ready to implement restrictions once the situation calls for it.”

He said that apart from the restrictions, the city will do its best to sustain its infection control and case management measures like testing, contact tracing, quarantine, isolation and medical interventions.

He also appealed to people to stick to the minimum public health standards which remain as the best protection against the disease especially considering indications that the more transmissible variants are already in the city.

In her weekly report, City Health Officer Rowena Galpo said the two-week growth rate (TWGR) which captures how quickly the number of cases is changing every two weeks showed a growth change of 4.5 percent or 143 cases percent between the weeks from Feb. 28 to March 13 and from March 14 to March 28.

The average daily attack rate (ADAR) or the proportion of population that contracts the disease in a specified time reached 9.7 percent or more than the 7 percent threshold for March 14-28.

Hospital care utilization remained at a critical level but isolation facilities are still with 299 available beds.

A total of five case clusters are being monitored and addressed.

Medicine supply replenishment is also being coordinated with the Dept. of Health regional office. — Aileen P. Refuerzo