In an interview, Magalong admitted that the NTF task given to him is a huge challenge with the increasing cases especially in high risk areas. But helping the other regions in terms of COVID – 19 infection control and management will also be beneficial to Baguio being a tourism hub and center of education and employment, he said.
Magalong, along with Secretary Vivencio “Vince” Dizon, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar and Health Undersecretary Leopoldo “Bong” Vega were recently designated as anti-COVID czars in a bid to intensify COVID-19 response measures.
He assured that will continue to be on top of the situation in the management of city affairs including the city’s COVID – 19 control and prevention measures even as he immediately settled down to work sharing contact tracing know-how to various local government units in the National Capital Region and Region VI-A struggling with COVID-19 cases.
The city’s contact tracing system developed by Magalong and the city government involves cognitive interviewing skills and use of technology which is a powerful tool in analyzing data. It involves identification or detection of the source and possible sources of infection; isolation of these persons; testing; and tracing of the close and remote contacts for quarantine, testing, disinfection and medical protocols as well as convincing patients to disclose their identities to help in tracing contact and cut down tracing time and resources.
The Cordillera Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council last week honored Magalong in the “Panangpadayaw iti Bituen ti Aminanan”, an award for exemplary leadership in building disaster- resilient communities in this time of the COVID pandemic, for his leadership in Baguio City becoming a model community not only in the region but in the country notably on its COVID – 19 contact tracing scheme and control and prevention measures.
Meanwhile, on the COVID situation in Baguio, Magalong reiterated his call for discipline and cooperation of the people, especially on wearing of mask, physical distancing, and on staying at home as much as possible with increasing new confirmed cases mostly due to the pro – active testing, opening of the economy and movement of returning residents and Overseas Filipinos and locally stranded individuals. He also reminded residents to avoid the 3 Cs: Crowded conditions, Close spaces, and Conversations in short distances.
As of July 18 data of the City Health Services Office, there are a total of 58 confirmed COVID-19 cases recorded in Baguio, with 10 admitted in hospitals, 46 already recovered and two deaths.(JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)
By Carlito C. Dar