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More elderly in Bacolod to be inoculated

BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III

More senior citizens in Bacolod City will be vaccinated against the coronavirus disease 2019, Dr. Chris Sorongon, deputy for Data and Medical Analysis of the Emergency Operations Center, said yesterday.

Sorongon said the city will resume its vaccination rollout for the elderly today.

Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia earlier said the city targets to inoculate as many senior citizens as possible.

On Friday, some 407 senior citizens received their first shot of the Sinovac vaccines at the Bacolod Government Center and the four barangay vaccination centers in Villamonte, Mandalagan, Vista Alegre, and Singcang-Airport.

Based on records of the Office of the Senior Citizen Affairs, there are about 66,000 residents of Bacolod who are above 60 years old, although the EOC is yet to consolidate its records on how many have already registered for vaccination.

The registration for the inoculation of senior citizens is ongoing, EOC executive director Em Ang said.

She said they do not have data yet whether the vaccination acceptance rate among Bacolodnons has increased, especially after the inoculation of Leonardia two weeks ago.

Ang said the registration is through online and house-to-house survey of barangay health workers.

Earlier this month, Ang said the vaccination acceptance rate was already at 58 percent.

TESTING BEEFED UP

The EOC, meanwhile, is maximizing its testing operations, especially focused on individuals with high risk of infection.

To further maximize the testing operations, the EOC is aggressively conducting surveillance testing in various areas, the latest was at the Bacolod City Police Office after some officers tested positive for the virus.

Those who test positive will immediately be placed under isolation, as ordered by Leonardia, who chairs the EOC.

Leonardia said testing plays a key role in the city government’s efforts to prevent the spread of the virus by identifying infected individuals and thus preventing further transmission.

Meanwhile, Ang stressed that the EOC strongly discourages the holding of social gatherings and dining out with nonmembers of a household.

“It is important to avoid mixing people in one place at the same time because it is one key factor of spreading the Covid-19 infection,” Ang said in a press release from the city.

Based on the EOC April 23 report on positivity rate, 20 percent of 441 individuals who underwent testing in Bacolod had positive results.

This has alarming implications since the EOC, as a rule of thumb, already considers a five-percent positivity rate as “too high”.

As of April 24, a total of 74,886 individuals have already undergone RT-PCR testing in Bacolod, the EOC data showed.

Individuals who tested positive are isolated, and their close contacts monitored and instructed to undergo home quarantine.

Individuals placed under isolation have food supplies and other necessities provided for by the city government.

“We have to provide food supply and other necessities to help them cope with the quarantine days and prevent jeopardizing the quarantine protocols,” the EOC said in a statement.

Leonardia also instructed the EOC to issue reminders and warnings for Bacolodnons to strictly follow minimum health protocols, like the wearing of face masks and face shields, and observe social distancing. Maintaining a safe distance from others is among the best ways to avoid exposure to Covid-19, the EOC added.*

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