BAGUIO CITY – The City Health Services Office reported that 84 percent of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the city had no travel history, and that the virus could have already been in the locality during the declaration of community quarantine.

CHSO Head Dr. Rowena Galpo said this was the picture that was painted with the analysis of COVD-19 statistics as per record of the department. “Current data shows most cases are due to local transmission,” she noted.

She said, of the total 275 cases in Baguio, as of August 21, 84 percent had no travel history. They were mostly workers naturally exposed to countless individuals, specifically drivers of public conveyances, bank employees, vendors and grocery store hands, among others.

Galpo said only 16 percent had history of travel, and they were Baguio residents.

She said clustering of cases were mapped through geospatial analyses, and this showed major transmission in households (24 households with 45 individuals), followed by banks (12 establishments with 34 individuals), and health facilities (eight establishments with 42 individuals).

Galpi said there were 52 identified COVID-19 clusters of cases recorded at the public market, government offices, groceries, church and in events particularly birthday parties, police personnel where local transmission started.

Galpo said 65 percent of the cases did not show symptoms of the virus, while 25 percent show mild symptoms – sore throat, cough and some fever; seven percent had moderate symptoms, three percent had severe symptoms, while the eight deaths recorded comprised less than one percent of the total number of cases.

The contact tracing efforts of the city government yielded 43 percent of the total COVID-19 cases, while the expanded-targeted testing of sectors considered as high risks comprised 34 percent of the cases.

High risk sectors were categorized from health workers, police personnel, government and volunteer frontliners, Authorized Persons Outside of Residences (APOR) from market vendors, public transportation drivers, security personnel, bank employees, supermarket and grocery personnel, among others.

Only 20 percent of the cases underwent swab tests for exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, while the remaining three percent were those who underwent mandatory testing prior to medical procedures.

Galpo said because of the expanded-targeted testing and efficient contact tracing system, the city was able to locate infected patients.

“And because we know who they are, we are able to mitigate and limit the spread of the virus,” she added. 

Source: Manila Bulletin (