Baguio’s flower fest, athletic meet to proceed amid COVID-19
BAGUIO CITY –– The city’s biggest crowd-drawers will proceed this month, although the new schedules remain “fluid” because of uncertainties over the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Mayor Benjamin Magalong said on Tuesday, March 3.
Health measures will be set in place when the Panagbenga opens with a street dancing parade on March 21, which was moved from February 1, the Grand Street Dancing Parade on March 28, the Grand Float Parade on March 29, and the street bazaar Session Road in Bloom.
The 2020 Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association Meet, expected to draw about 7,000 delegates, will start on March 22.
National conferences are also set to open at the Baguio Convention Center next week.
These events mean life in the summer capital has normalized, Magalong said at a news conference, after he suspended all activities that gather huge crowds in February as a precaution against the spread of the virus that first broke out in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
Tourist activities will continue until Holy Week in the second week of April.
A task force overseeing Kennon Road has authorized its opening once more to traffic, but only for motorists headed up to this mountain city from Mondays to Fridays.
The scenic zigzag road, which has been open only to residents due to rehabilitation work, would be open to two-way traffic during weekends (March 6-9, March 13-16, March 20-23, and March 27-30) from 6 a.m. on Fridays to 6 p.m. on Mondays.
But as the World Health Organization braces for a pandemic as more countries report COVID-19 infections, Magalong said these schedules must still be treated as “tentative.”
As of Tuesday, only one person under investigation (PUI) in the Cordillera is completing the mandatory 14-Day quarantine, the Department of Health said earlier.
28 PUIs have been discharged, indicating that the Cordillera continues to be virus-free “but we need to make sure we remain healthy,” said Amelita Pangilinan, DOH Cordillera director.
Pangilinan said the Department of Education has coordinated with her agency regarding the medical requirements for CARAA, including standby health workers and vitamins.
Transient and migrant South Korean households in the city are scheduled to consult on Friday (March 6) with the Baguio City Health Office in light of the outbreak in their home country and will be transmitting a list of Koreans who may have visited the city before a travel ban was enforced.
Meanwhile, 72 drug stores and groceries in the Cordillera have been put on notice for violating a price freeze on products needed for combatting COVID-19, said Aiden Bermisa, DOH regional pharmacist.
Most of these facilities sold rubbing alcohol at much steeper rates due to low supply in the highlands./lzb
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