Baguio tightens border control anew as COVID-19 cases rise in nearby towns | Inquirer News

Baguio tightens border control anew as COVID-19 cases rise in nearby towns

/ 05:04 AM November 19, 2020

BAGUIO’S NEIGHBOR Traffic along the main road of La Trinidad, the provincial capital of Benguet and a major vegetable trading hub in the Cordillera, is unusually light in this photo taken last month. Many La
Trinidad residents regularly travel to nearby Baguio City for work, business, education and leisure but city officials say they will impose tighter border checks to contain the spread of COVID-19. —EV ESPIRITU

BAGUIO CITY—The city has again restricted entry of people coming from neighboring towns beginning Nov. 21 due to reports of Benguet province’s inadequate testing for the coronavirus.

But Mayor Benjamin Magalong on Wednesday said the city government would continue helping Benguet with test kits and manpower for contact tracing to contain the spread of the virus.


Health workers have yet to determine the full scope of transmission in Benguet, partly because of a reluctance to conduct expanded testing, according to Magalong.

“More Benguet residents travel regularly to Baguio so controlling our borders would cut down the risk,” he said. Those who could not prove that they were not infected with the virus will be denied entry, he added.


Arrangements were being made regarding workers who live in Benguet, including Itogon and Tuba towns where the virus spread in mining communities last month.

Benguet recorded 15 new cases on Nov. 16, which raised its total number to 1,767. Among the new cases were eight people who were exposed to carriers in Itogon.

Free movement

Baguio used to allow free movement for residents of five Benguet towns that are part of an economic collaboration called BLISTT (acronym for Baguio and nearby La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay).

“So they came in and out without the necessity of submitting to triage [until this week],” Magalong said. But new tests conducted from Nov. 5 to Nov. 6 raised concerns about the strategy used in Benguet, he said.

According to him, 100 of 915 Itogon residents tested positive for the virus with a positivity rate of 10 percent. “This means out of 100, 10 were infected,” he said.

La Trinidad, the capital of Benguet, tested 1,112 residents during that period and 91 were proven carriers, or a 2.8 percent positive rate. In Itogon, 37 of 752 residents tested were found infected, or a positivity rate of over 4 percent.

Data analyses project a slow reduction of Baguio cases in the near future, provided those in Benguet also begin to slow down, Magalong said. —VINCENT CABREZA


For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .

Subscribe to the Inquirer COVID-19 Newsletter
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Baguio lockdown, coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus Philippines, quarantine rules
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

© Copyright 1997-2020 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.