BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said he is not inclined to believe the assessment of the Department of Health that placed Negros Occidental under Alert Level 2 for Covid-19, based on increasing healthcare utilization.
Lacson said the provincial government-managed hospitals are not fully occupied, and stressed that there are still beds available for Covid patients.
Except for the three Covid designated hospitals that are not fully occupied, all others were 50 percent occupied, as reported earlier by Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz.
The DOH said that Alert Level 2 means that the case counts were low and decreasing, but healthcare utilization was increasing.
During a zoom meeting yesterday with Western Visayas officials, Lacson said that DOH-Western Visayas regional director Adriano Subaan noted that Negros Occidental is doing well in the campaign against Covid-19, and had even commended what the provincial government has been doing.
“We are in a better position than other provinces in the region,” Lacson said.
DOH also placed Bacolod City under Alert Level 3, and said the Covid case counts were high or increasing, with healthcare utilization also up.
Dr. Daphynie Teorima, DOH-WV Center for Health Development National Immunization coordinator, said yesterday that the HCUR or Health Care Utilization Rate of Negros Occidental was 39.86 percent, and 39.39 percent for Bacolod City, both of which are in low risk classifications.
ADAR or the Average Daily Attack Rate for Negros Occidental also dropped from 2.89 to 1.61 per 100,000 population, and from 11.47 to 6.42 for Bacolod City, with both Covid growth rates at negative 44 percent in the past two weeks, Teorima said.
As for the proposal to also require Authorized Persons Outside Residence to submit negative RT-PCR results before they are allowed entry to the province, Lacson said the policy of the Inter-Agency Task Force to spare them remains as is.
Some Negrense officials questioned the IATF policy of sparing government APORs from being required negative RT-PCR test results, stressing that it has been proven in the past that they are also carriers of the virus.*