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Guv: Negative RT-PCR required for travelers from ECQ areas

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Travelers from Enhanced Community Quarantine areas, including Iloilo City and province, are required to present negative RT-PCR test results and their registered S-PaSS, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said yesterday.

The Department of Health earlier confirmed two cases of the highly contagious Covid-19 Delta variant in Antique, that already claimed the life of one patient, while another one managed to recover.

Mayor Evelio Leonardia had earlier ordered a ban of leisure trips from Panay to Bacolod City, as part of the border control deterrent measures against the Delta variant transmission.

Negros Occidental is presently under the General Community Quarantine classification that will last until the end of this month, while the highly-urbanized Bacolod is under the GCQ with heightened restrictions, until today.

The quarantine status in the province of Iloilo and its highly-urbanized city had been elevated to the most restrictive ECQ from the Modified ECQ until July 31.

RT-PCR TEST RESULTS, TOO

Lacson also said that the requirement of a negative RT-PCR test results from travelers, upon arrival at the Bacolod-Silay Airport, or swabbing at the airport, continues up to this time.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez advised local government units and concerned agencies to include the Delta variant threat in their response initiatives.

Galvez said the variant has a high transmissibility rate of 1:8 when compared to the 1:2 to 1:3 of the original strain.

He encouraged LGUs to establish syndromic surveillance and border control clusters in their local task forces to facilitate a more focused response.

MILITARY CAN BE TAPPED

For prevention measures, Galvez said the enforcement of the prohibition on mass gatherings and other spreader events should be tightened and LGUs may tap military personnel to assist in these efforts.

They can be deployed to help enforce the area’s general community quarantine restrictions and other protocols, among them the face mask requirement in public convergence areas, he added.

DONATED VACCINES

Lacson also clarified that vaccines donated to the province by the national government will be for priority Negrenses in the A1, A2, and A3 categories.

The provincial government of Negros Occidental recently received 14,000 vials of the single-dose Johnson and Johnson’s Janssen vaccine, that is equivalent to 70,000 doses, on top of the 2,900 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine it had purchased through a tripartite agreement with the Department of Health.

Lacson said the 2,900 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine will be inoculated on those in the A4 category, or essential workers, since it was purchased by the provincial government.

He, however, said they have not been given clearance by the national government to utilize the donated vaccines for those in the A4 category.

In the A1 category are those workers in frontline health services, while A2 and A3 are senior citizens and persons with comorbidities, respectively.*with report from PNA

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