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Isolation units are being temporarily closed as the number of Covid-19 cases decreases.

As coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in the city continue to fall, the City Health Services Office is considering temporarily stopping the operation of many isolation units to save money.

In a media interview on Friday, City Health Officer Dr. Rowena Galpo revealed that only 140 of the 939 beds in the city’s isolation units were filled.

According to the Covid-19 bulletin from the Department of Health – Cordillera, the city has 707 active cases as of February 11, with 72 new infections on the same day.

The city authorities previously stated that the majority of the cases reported in Baguio were mild and asymptomatic, requiring no hospitalization or facility confinement.

It reopened the facilities in the first week of January when instances began to rise, which were ultimately determined to be caused by the highly contagious Omicron strain.

When the city experienced a decline in cases after almost three months of surge owing to the Delta variation that began in September 2021, the local authorities temporarily paused and closed the isolation facilities in December 2021.

Galpo reported that the city’s healthcare use rate dropped to only 54 percent from a high of at least 90 percent at the peak of the surge in January, putting the city in a moderate health-risk category.

She predicted that the city’s Covid-19 situation will improve in the coming weeks as more people recovered.

Some isolation unit workers have been taken out to aid with the long-term deployment of telemedicine and the home care program, according to Galpo, so that more patients undergoing home quarantine can receive the care they need.

She went on to say that some of them were recruited to assist in the city’s government-run mass vaccination program.

Galpo said the municipal government will keep the 350-bed Baguio City Community Isolation Unit at the former Sto. Nino hospital is open for patients who needed it.

Apart from Sto. Nino, other isolation facilities include Teachers Camp, as well as a number of hotels and temporary housing run by the municipal government.

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