At least five persons are infected with the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) but twice of that recover, reports from the Public Information Office – Baguio show. With 10 reported new cases on Thursday, Baguio logged 27 news cases in a span of one week from August 21 – 27 or an average of 5.29 new cases.
The lowest was three on the 24th, four on the 23rd and five cases on four occasions – August 21, 22, 25 and 26, with the highest at 10. PIO – Baguio chief Aileen Refuerzo said that eight of the 10 cases Thursday are workers from groceries who are subject of the ongoing targeted testing.
With the 10 cases on Thursday, Baguio went beyond the 300 mark, at 307, or a 300 percent increase since reaching the century mark on July 28. She added that “One case was also discovered through expanded testing although in a different sector and another through contact tracing.”
And quoting mayor Benjamin Magalong, the PIO reported that “more infections are expected to surface in the coming days as he gave grocers only until today (August 27) to complete the testing requirement.” Six of Thursday’s new cases are in their 20s, three are in their 30s and one is relatively old at 57. Seven are females and three males, relatively young at ages 21 – 26.
Recovery rate the past week is the highest so far with 70, 29 of these were logged Wednesday with seven as mode – on August 21, 23, 24 and 26. Baguio’s total recovery now stands at 231 or a 75.24 recovery rate. Active cases now stand at 68 with eight confirmed deaths. Total tests done using the gold standard reverse transcript – polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test kits are 35,732 or about 10 percent of Baguio’s population.
Meanwhile, City Health Office assistant health officer Dr. Celia Flor Brillantes said that using the RT-PCR test kit remains the gold standard in testing persons suspected Covid-19 positive. “Until the Department of Health said otherwise, the RT-PCR test remains the gold standard,” said Brillantes during Wednesday’s City Hall Hour at the Baguio City Multi-Purpose hall.
Brillantes said this when asked if the much cheaper antigen rapid test could be used in place of the RT-PCR. “Even if a person tested positive using the antigen rapid test, he or she still remains a suspect unless tested with the RTPCR test kit,” Brillantes told media people during the afternoon presser along with Baguio City Police Office director PCol. Allen Rae Co and lawyer Althea Alberto of the city mayor’s office. Mayor Magalong appears to be leaning to the use of the antigen rapid test which is way much cheaper than the RT-PCR test kit and also results could be known in under 30 minutes.
Even non-medical practitioners can do the testing them self from swabbing to analyzing the result. The city tourism office has also floated the idea of the use of antigen rapid test for visiting tourists once the city is open to out of town visitors.