BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
Thirty-eight barangays of Bacolod will be declared free from coronavirus disease 2019 by the City Emergency Operations Center Task Force today or tomorrow, since no new index cases were reported in these areas in the last two weeks.
As of Wednesday, barangays 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 31, 32, 33, 34, 36, 37, 38, 41, Felisa, and Montevista recorded zero Covid-19 cases, Dr. Chris Sorongon, deputy for medical data analysis and assessment of EOC-TF, said.
Barangays 12, 17, 18, 35, and Singcang Airport will also have zero active cases soon because the remaining Covid patients from these places are expected to recover from the disease in two to three days’ time, Sorongon said.
Barangays Mansilingan, Handumanan, Estefania, Villamonte, Bata, Mandalagan, Alijis, Tangub, Granada, and Banago have the most number of cases in Bacolod, but Sorongon said these areas are still not considered hotspots.
Sorongon explained that the cases in these barangays are controlled since the patients are under home quarantine or at the city’s isolation facilities. Most of these patients, who are asymptomatic and came in close contact with other Covid positive individuals, were authorized persons outside residence or locally stranded individuals, he said.
NO CASUALTY REPORTED
The EOC also reported that the Covid-19 hospitalization rate in Bacolod is at 26 to 28 percent, as of Wednesday, with no casualty reported since December 1.
But City Administrator Em Ang, who is also the executive director of EOC, stressed that the decrease in cases does not mean that the people should already be complacent.
She said residents should still continue to follow health protocols, especially during social gatherings this Yuletide season. If possible, celebrate virtually, Ang added.
To help them sustain the momentum against the spread of the virus in Bacolod, Ang said they formed the Halong Ugyon Bacolod Monitoring and Enforcement team to ensure that health protocols are followed in the different areas of the city.
The HUB monitoring and enforcement team will closely work with Task Force Disiplina and the police in the implementation of health protocols in Bacolod.
Meanwhile, Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia is set to issue guidelines on the conduct of Christmas parties and caroling in the city to avoid post-holiday surge of Covid cases.
Leonardia said that, following health protocols is more important than observing whatever usual Christmas traditions, and although the cases have been reduced, “that should not mislead us to think that we are now safe and okay.”
Leonardia earlier encouraged the public to limit gatherings among family members only, and that they should be held outdoors to prevent disease contamination.
He said people need to be more vigilant now more than ever because the holiday season may give a wrong sense of security to everyone. There is already a vaccine against Covid but it will not be available in Bacolod yet any time soon, so the people should not let their guard down, he added.*