5th COVID-19 death haunts Baguio City as cases continue to rise
BAGUIO CITY — A 71-year-old retired doctor has become the fifth coronavirus fatality in the summer capital as of Sunday (Aug. 9), and counts among the 27 senior citizens who have contracted the disease since the pandemic broke out at the start of the year.
The latest fatality adds to the recent deaths of two 65-year-old men, prompting Mayor Benjamin Magalong to appeal for the city’s elderly to take extra precaution when they handle household chores such as buying food and medicine on Sundays, the only day they are allowed to go out of their homes.
But Magalong said younger residents must also play their part in protecting the city’s senior citizens, by wearing protective gear or devices and observing physical distancing, in light of the probability that they are carriers of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
According to the city health services office in a July briefing, around 56 percent of the hundred patients recorded in Baguio since March did not show any symptoms of the virus.
About 41 percent showed mild symptoms and have returned home after recovering from the disease, said Dr. Donabelle Tubera-Panes, who heads the city’s infectious disease division.
“As several of the recorded cases were asymptomatic, we appeal to the general public to exert more effort in protecting themselves and those they hold dear. Senior citizens and the immuno-compromised have a limited fighting chance against the virus. You, being young and healthy may be able to survive the virus. But the elderly do not,” Magalong said in a statement.
“There’s a need to take responsibility over our family’s well-being. Ultimately our behavior will dictate the efficiency of mitigating the virus,” Magalong said.
The Sunday fatality was among the four new infection cases that have been recorded, following a spike in cases towards the end of July.
As of Sunday night, hospitals have been treating 58 patients afflicted with COVID-19. Since March, 162 patients have been stricken with the disease.
Magalong had directed the lockdown of 21 barangays (villages) where the patients reside to allow contact tracing teams time to determine the extent of contamination in these neighborhoods.
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