Strict border control stays despite Covid cases dip

The city will continue to strictly man its borders  despite encouraging reports from the Health Services Office (HSO) of a downtrend in coronavirus disease 2019 active cases in the Summer Capital for the past few days.

“We should never let our guards down and become complacent despite the welcome news of declining Covid-19 cases.  Everyone must continue to observe minimum public health standards and have themselves vaccinated if they haven’t yet,” Mayor Benjamin Magalong said.

The HSO, under Dr. Rowena Galpo, disclosed that from October 4 to 10, the city’ daily average number of Covid cases was 261 and it dropped to 137 cases from October 11 to 17.

The city continues to turn away  an average of 160 travelers without proper documents on weekends and 40 to 70 visitors on weekdays.

In the regular management committee meeting, Oct. 19, of local officials led by the Mayor at Baguio Convention Center, City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office chief Antonette Anaban said 1,306 travelers  were sent home at the borders from October 1 to 18 for  lacking the needed papers and one colorum vehicle was caught.

The months of August and September saw a total of 486 and 1,786 individuals, respectively, sent packing at the borders for having no documents or lack thereof, she said.

Baguio’s borders are located at Marcos Highway, Tuba Viewdeck, Irisan, Magsaysay,Longlong Tacay,  Tiptop, Kias, Asin Tadiangan, Ambiong and at Baguio-Tuding.

Police authorities also apprehended five colorum vehicles in August and two in September while 14 travelers were apprehended in August for carrying fake documents.

Having strict border control is one of the city’s Covid-19 Delta variant contingency plan’s key result areas, Anaban said. — Gaby B. Keith