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This Week in Northern Luzon (October 17 to 23, 2020)

Baguio and other parts of Northern Luzon are now open for tourists!

By: Antonette Louise Guiao | October 17, 2020
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Northern Luzon, COVID-19, Quarantine Updates, Health News, quarantine, Baguio, pandemic

Provinces in Northern Luzon, including Baguio City and Ilocos Norte, have now reopened their doors for tourism once more, giving their respective economies a slow but safe jump start. The local government of Baguio has seen an increase in the numbers in tourism but assured it will take things slow. The city is also working on improving its COVID-19 case management while people flock to visit it.

Quarantine Updates

Tourism numbers spiked in Baguio City

Since the City of Baguio reopened its doors to visitors, its tourism numbers continue to increase even as the local government implements strict safety measures and entry requirements. Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong said that Ridge and Reef tourism corridor program’s entry protocols were reasonable since the virus isn’t gone yet. Moreover, it is vital in ensuring a balance between the economic boost of the province and the safety of all the tourists amid the pandemic.

City Tourism Officer Engr. Aloysius Mapalo added that as of October 8, there has already been a total of 179 travel requests and 1,701 individual registrations have been received under the Visitors’ Information and Travel Assistance of VISITA platform and travel guide. Travel requests from Region I will be accommodated since it is the only allowed region as of now. Mapalo also mentioned that pending travel requests may still be disapproved if the requirements are not completed prior to the intended date of travel. [1]

Baguio City shares extra precautionary preparations for reopening

Now that Baguio City is finally welcoming tourists once more, City Tourism Officer Engr. Aloysius Mapalo shared what the city has implemented to ensure safe and healthy visits. He said that they are not expecting a huge number of tourists and are taking it slow. Besides the strict entry requirements and online registration, tourists must also take a COVID-19 test within at most 72 hours before travel. They must also fill out an electronic unified health declaration form so that they no longer have to fill out forms in every establishment or tourist site that they will visit. If a tourist tests positive during his or her stay in the city, he/she will immediately be turned over to the city health officials. All expenses that will be incurred will be shouldered by the tourist. [2]

Ilocos Norte implements new curfew hours and liquor ban

Starting October 10, 2020, the province of Ilocos Norte will be under liquor ban and curfew. Curfew hours between 11:00 PM to 4:00 AM will be implemented, and business establishments are encouraged to extend their operating hours [3].

Health News

Baguio steps up management capabilities for COVID-19

Baguio City together with the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) assured that community isolation and COVID-19 case management is still under control despite the rise of cases in the city. Dr. Rowena Galpo, the city’s health officer, reported that the city’s isolation facilities have a total of 318 beds with a current occupancy of 78.3%.

The city is continuously working on expanding its community quarantine and isolation facilities. Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Thea Pamela Cajulao said that the BGHMC has a capacity total of 150 beds, but 34 additional rooms are being worked out. The hospital is currently home to 51 patients consisting of 23 mild cases, 16 moderate cases, and 12 critical cases. Its molecular laboratory also has an ample supply of test kits and no backlogs are being recorded. Other than its’ COVID-19 case management, other hospital services at the BGHMC are fully operational. [4]

Go to Yoorekka for more COVID-19 updates in Northern Luzon.

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About Antonette Louise Guiao
Antonette is a writer, a night owl, an extrovert, and a BTS ARMY. Her spare time is consumed by drawing digital vector art, sleeping, binge-watching Netflix series, and learning how to cook. An adventurer by heart, she aspires to travel the world with her family, try extreme outdoor activities, and taste all sorts of food in different countries.
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Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.
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