For the past 10 days, there were no new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases reported in Baguio City.
According to a 24 Oras report by Oscar Oida on Tuesday, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the city remained at 14.
Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong attributed the welcome news to the city government’s sense of urgency and preparedness.
Magalong said they had anticipated the situation and immediately suspended mass gatherings, including the annual Panagbenga Festival.
He added an artificial intelligence-powered CT scan analyzer was also set up at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center to help detect possible transmissions of the viral disease.
“In a matter of 7 minutes, made-detect na kung potentially COVID-19 case ito so nakapag-launch na agad kami ng contract tracing, na-isolate agad namin ‘yong patient,” Magalong said.
The mayor added being a former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group chief gave him an edge in terms of contact tracing.
“It’s an investigator skill so ‘tong mga nurses, doctors namin, they don’t have that investigative mindset so ang ginawa namin, pinag-crash course namin sa cognitive interviewing,” he said.
“These are abnormal times and it requires abnormal solution also, non-traditional solution, out of the box solution so let’s open our eyes sa technology dahil malaki ang maitutulong sa atin niyan,” Magalong added.
Aside from high technology, the city government also allotted a containment center that could house up to 28 patients.
Recently, the city government also reopened the Sto. Niño Medical Center, a 36-bed medical facility located in Barangay Burgos, which will be an exclusive hospital for COVID-19 cases. It will begin operations on April 11.
But despite recording no new cases of COVID-19, Magalong said they were still far from being virus-free.
He said they were still strictly implementing precautionary measures such as social distancing.
As of April 6, Baguio has reported 14 cases of COVID-19 including one fatality and five recoveries.
Nationwide, a total of 3,764 COVID-19 infections have been recorded with 177 deaths and 84 recoveries. — Ma. Angelica Garcia/DVM, GMANews