• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Independent pandemic monitor Octa Research reported that the COVID-19 positivity rate in Negros Occidental further increased from to 14.4 percent as of April 29, a figure which is almost triple the World Health Organization’s ideal threshold for positivity rate, which is five percent.
Based on Octa Research records, it rose from 10.9 percent on April 22 to 14.4 percent, a week after.
The Department of Health earlier assured the public that there is no need to panic as the healthcare utilization rate remains low all over the country.
DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire explained that the COVID-19 positivity rate is not the only basis for assessing the country’s COVID-19 situation, as it is only derived from the number of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 in a specific number of RT-PCR tests conducted — which is significantly less than the previous years.
However, the national government is considering to require the use of face masks again, which is presently optional, due to rising cases of COVID 19.
As of May 1, Negros Occidental logged 91 active cases with 10 deaths, where all victims are unvaccinated.
Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson reiterated his call for Negrenses to keep wearing face masks, especially in crowded and indoor areas, to avoid infection.
The wearing of face masks at the Cadiz and Talisay City Halls is now mandatory, as required by their respective local government chief executives.
Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez also enjoined commuters to wear face masks while riding in public transportation in Bacolod City.*