BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Bacolod City and Negros Occidental received yesterday 7,200 additional doses of Sinovac vaccine from the Department of Health.
Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Ernell Tumimbang, said 5,200 doses are for Negros Occidental, while 2,000 were earmarked for Bacolod City.
The vaccines for Bacolod were received by OIC-City Health Officer, Dr. Edwin Miraflor Jr., and personnel of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office and the Bacolod City Police Office, and were brought immediately to the cold storage facility of the city at the Bacolod Government Center.
A total of 7,540 Sinovac vaccines have arrived in Bacolod City since March 5.
With two doses per person, the allocated Sinovac vaccines can serve 3,770 Bacolodnon frontline healthcare workers.
Emergency Operations Center deputy for medical, Dr. Chris Sorongon, said that with Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines combined, the EOC has administered the first dose of 5,746 vaccines, and second dose of 291 vaccines.
The vaccines were allotted by the national government to Bacolod City through the DOH 6.
Tumimbang, meanwhile, said the first delivery of Sinovac already covered frontliners in the different hospitals, with the second doses to be administered to them starting next week.
Assistant PHO, Dr. Jessica Fama, said that 4,590 have been vaccinated of the more than 31,000 health workers, including barangay health workers, members of the barangay health emergency response teams, and personnel of standalone molecular laboratories and clinics in the province.
Tumimbang also said that the 5,200 Sinovac doses received recently by the province from the DOH will inoculate an additional 2,600 health personnel.
Local and health officials are exerting their best efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19, with active cases numbering to 793, including Bacolod, as of April 5.
Tumimbang said that he is anticipating an increase in active cases “as long as we have no control with regards to the coming in of locally stranded individuals, overseas Filipino workers, and returning Overseas Filipinos”.
“This is because we cannot monitor them directly, unlike before when we have protocols and we were hands-on on the entry of returning residents, particularly from Metro Manila,” Tumimbang said.
Swabbing remains voluntary for inbound travelers to Negros Occidental pending the approval by the Inter-Agency Task Force of the request of Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson to make it mandatory.
NEGATIVE TO POSITIVE
Tumimbang noted a spike in Covid active cases in Negros Occidental since March 15, following the implementation of AITF Resolution 101, where swab testing is no longer mandatory upon arrival at airports and seaports, unless the concerned local government unit requires it.
Despite the status quo, Tumimbang said he is thankful that majority of returning Negrenses have volunteered themselves for swabbing at the airport, noting also that there are some who had tested negative of infection when leaving their points of origin, but turned out positive upon arrival in the province. Tumimbang also said the temporary suspension of flights from Manila and Cebu to Western Visayas until April 10 can help in contract tracing efforts and in isolating those infected.*