BY CARLA P. GOMEZ
Only 6,293 of the targeted 10,000 residents in four cities and one town in Negros Occidental were swabbed for COVID-19 tests during the Timeout Weekend that ended yesterday.
There were 754 more persons who were swabbed in Murcia and Bago City yesterday, Negros Occidental Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said.
Of the total, 436 were in Murcia town and 318 in Bago City, he said.
Earlier tests were also conducted in Bacolod, Talisay and Silay cities.
As only the Teresita L. Jalandoni Provincial Hospital laboratory is processing the swabbed specimens, 1,475 were flown to Cebu yesterday for testing at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center laboratory, Board Member Ryan Gamboa said.
This was done through the initiative of Provincial Consultant Alfredo Benitez and Rep. Francisco Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3rd District), he said.
The Red Cross Negros Occidental molecular laboratory will also begin testing around 900 specimens from those gathered during the Timeout Weekend, Gamboa said.
This, after Secretary Carlito Galvez, chief implementer of the National Action Plan Against COVID-19 and his deputy, Vivencio Dizon, signed letters designating the entire province of Negros Occidental and the highly urbanized city of Bacolod as Special Areas of Concern, he added.*