BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
The Bacolod City Emergency Operations Center has recommended the temporary suspension of the travel privileges of both government and privately employed Authorized Persons Outside Residence, Dr. Chris Sorongon, EOC deputy, said.
Sorongon said this would mean that all APORs bound for Bacolod will be required to present negative Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction results.
He said that the EOC already learned its lesson when Covid cases in Bacolod had surged back in March because the APORs were not required RT-PCR negative results.
Sorongon said they also requested Mayor Evelio Leonardia to purchase antigen kits so that all drivers of vans and trucks carrying essential goods will be tested to ensure that they are not Covid carriers.
While waiting for the test results, they will be temporarily placed in isolation at the Bata National High School.
Earlier, executive officer Frank Carbon of the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who is also a fast craft operator, wrote a letter to Leonardia regarding their appeal for swabbing upon arrival instead of the required RT-PCR for travelers from Panay.
Carbon said this is more convenient and not costly, and will help avoid the proliferation of fake test results.
He said that most fast craft operators have decided to stop operations because many passengers opted not to travel to Bacolod from Panay anymore due to restrictions implemented by the city.
Leonardia insisted on the need for an RT-PCR and referred the letter of Carbon to the EOC.
Sorongon, meanwhile, said they are looking into the possibility of the city government shouldering the swab tests of the APORs but this will depend on the availability of funds.
“We understand the sentiments of everyone but, at the end of the day, we are taking into consideration the common good for everybody,” Sorongon said.
“We don’t want to see patients lining outside hospitals or the hallways waiting for their turn to be admitted; neither do we want to see patients with oxygen tanks in ambulances and vehicles,” he added.
ENOUGH ISOLATION FACILITIES
The EOC does not approve home isolation applications for now, except for extreme cases or when the patient is already bed-ridden, since Bacolod City has enough isolation facilities for Covid positive patients, Sorongon said.
He said the EOC wants to assure that all Covid patients are in quarantine facilities and do not stay in the barangays since there are chances that they can still infect their neighbors.*