Baguio approves hike in tourist slots to 1,000 per day

MANILA, Dec 9 (Mabuhay) — Despite the increase in coronavirus infections in Baguio, the local government has approved a proposal to increase the number of tourists who can visit the city per day from 500 to 1,000.

The local government also eased some of the restrictions on tourism in the area in order to allow establishments to recover.

“We’re allowing na rin ‘yung transient houses as long as they already cert and issued a certificate of compliance,” City Tourism Officer Alec Mapalo said.

This was agreed upon by the City Tourism Office after consulting with hotel operators, the Department of Health, and Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong.

Data from the DOH showed that there were more than 20 new infections in the city on Monday. It has also recorded a 13.5% positivity rate, higher than the 5% ideal rate of the World Health Organization.

The DOH admitted that there was an increase in the number of cases since the city decided to accept tourists from other provinces in October.

However, the agency said that the increased case count may be due to the intensified COVID-19 testing and contact tracing in the area.

“Ang Baguio City, they are very aggressive in testing, no, in contact tracing and testing. They’re constituents ‘yung mga tao sa city. So maaring may epekto rin sa positivity rate kapag marami kang nate-test na individuals,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

“Although, we cannot discount the fact na marami ‘yung nagpo-positibo. So kailangan talaga pong bantayan,” she added.

Mapalo also said that the number of COVID-19 cases in Baguio was manageable, adding that the triage centers were ready to ensure that all visitors will be filtered.

He also reminded tourists to follow health protocols while in the city. (MNS)

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