Covid-19 testing in Baguio, Benguet yields 257 cases in 4 days

Covid-19 testing in Baguio, Benguet yields 257 cases in 4 days

BAGUIO CITY – The aggressive community testing here and in six Benguet towns has yielded 257 positive coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases during the four-day activity.

The testing was conducted jointly by the National Inter-Agency Task Force (NIATF) against Covid-19, Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), ACT-CIS Party-list, and the local government units of Baguio, La Trinidad, Itogon, Tuba, Tublay, and Kapangan from Oct. 27 to 30.

Dr. Amelita Pangilinan, assistant regional director of the Department of Health-Cordillera Administrative Region (DOH-CAR), on Sunday said a total of 5,172 individuals were tested out of the 6,650 allotted for the activity.

Baguio tested 2,630 individuals; La Trinidad, 450; Itogon, 974; Tuba, 620; Tublay, 98; Kapangan, 130; and 270 at Camp John Hay.

Baguio recorded 61 cases, La Trinidad, 13; Itogon, 149; Tuba, 14; while Tublay and Kapangan recorded zero each. The testing at John Hay for firemen and workers inside the facility yielded 20 positive cases.

A positivity rate of 4.96 percent was logged from the marathon testing.

In an earlier meeting with Benguet officials, Pangilinan said the testing would help determine the positivity of close contacts of miners in Itogon and Tuba which both showed clustering and spike in cases starting October 22. It also supports the government’s testing process to identify positive cases and avoid further spread of the disease.

After the marathon testing, the town of Itogon in Benguet again logged a total of 159 cases on Sunday (Nov. 1), a record high in a single day.

The 149 of the total cases involved employees of the mining company Benguet Corporation plus their close contacts which include family members and neighbors.

The spike of cases in Itogon has brought Benguet province’s cases to a total of 1,416 with 867 active cases.

In this city, there are a total of 2,196 infections, including 654 active cases.

Baguio has conducted a total of 63,893 tests of its 370,000 population.

The city’s aggressive contact tracing that identifies people to be tested has contributed to the high number of cases.

Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the surge in cases shows the government is able to identify the possible carriers of the virus who are eventually tested and isolated.

As of Nov. 1, there were 17,089 people completing their 14 days quarantine as primary and secondary contacts of Covid-19 patients. Liza Agoot /PNA –