Baguio brings back checkpoints due to rise in Covid-19 cases

BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Benjamin Magalong ordered the reestablishment of checkpoints in the city’s 128 barangays following the “sharp” increase in the number of coronarivus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases.

"We have been having a sharp increase in cases in our locality so, if you don’t have anything important to do, stay home. Let’s not put our guards down,” Magalong said on Saturday.

Baguio City reported on Saturday 14 new confirmed Covid-19 cases, the highest number of cases recorded in a single day in the summer capital.

Although the city logged no cases from July 21 to 23, Public Information Office (PIO) chief Aileen Refuerzo said the two cases on Friday (July 24) and another 14 on Saturday brought the city’s total coronavirus cases to 81.

"Recent spike in cases called for stricter measures to contain transmission of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19),” Refuerzo said.

She said checkpoints have already been set up in some villages in coordination with the Baguio City Police Office to prevent non-essential travels of the residents.

“The city is still under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) which prohibits non-essential travels,” she said.

Refuerzo explained that Magalong’s order to place checkpoints in the barangays and interior roads was an effective deterrent to unnecessary travels.

She said the city has scheduled days when the residents can visit malls, supermarkets, and groceries to buy essential items using issued color-coded “market, mall schedule (MMS)” pass.

Refuerzo said the city is also implementing an enhanced risk-based testing, targeting 10 percent of every sector, particularly those susceptible of getting the virus.

Returning residents, overseas workers, medical front-liners and other front-line workers are also being subjected to swab testing, she said.

Magalong has also urged residents with flu-like symptoms to seek medical help or ask to be assessed by Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams.

“If we assess people with flu-like symptoms like fever, cough, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, and fatigue early, we can immediately identify carriers and isolate them thereby preventing further virus transmission,” Magalong said. (PNA)

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