Baguio City implemented strict border control measures on neighboring municipalities of La Trinidad, Tuba, Tublay, and Sablan to scale up Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) control measures including the testing capacity and pinpointing of at-risk sectors in these towns for better disease management.
Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong issued an advisory dated Nov. 19 temporarily restricting the access in said towns for 14 days from Nov. 21 to Dec. 4, 2020.
The mayor said the same restriction was proven effective when it was implemented on Itogon last Nov. 3 to 15 when COVID cases in the town spiked to 74 on Oct. 22 and to as high as 149 on Nov. 1 - mostly workers in the mining companies.
With the implementation of restricted access, the contact tracing teams and health workers of Itogon were able to mitigate the spread of infection. Itogon now records not more than 10 new COVID cases per day.
During the restricted access, the Sangguniang Bayan of Itogon issued Resolution No.349-2020 suspending the collection of fees on the issuance of medical certificates. This eased up the burden among residents of Itogon who have work in Baguio but are required to present a medical certificate aside from valid identification cards stating their residences and proof of work or business.
Seeing that the system with Itogon worked well, Baguio now applies the same temporary restriction with La Trinidad, Tuba, Tublay, and Sablan residents.
While COVID cases in Baguio are relatively higher compared to the nearby municipalities, Magalong said the border restriction is meant to mitigate the spread of infection by limiting inter-municipal movement.
Magalong explained that the restricted access will also give time for the LGUs to implement expanded testing for them to determine COVID hotspots and assess the effectiveness of current COVID response measures.
"As members of the BLISTT it goes without saying that we will all extend the necessary and vital assistance to each other to ensure that expanded testing is conducted," Magalong said.
Press Release: Jessa Samidan/PIO Baguio
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