BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Despite the increasing number of Covid-19 active cases, Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said yesterday that the situation in the province remains “manageable”.
“We can manage, if we strictly follow health protocols,” Lacson said, as he reiterated for the nth time the need for public cooperation in the fight against Covid-19.
The Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases-Western Visayas doctors met Wednesday with Lacson and provincial consultant Alfredo Benitez and called on the provincial government to close the borders or ports of entry in Negros Occidental to non-essential travelers, including overseas Filipino workers for two weeks, to address the surge of Covid infections.
The Provincial Incident Management Team reported that Negros Occidental logged 216 new cases, 69 recoveries, and two deaths on June 9, bringing to 1,893 the number of active infections in the province.
PSMID-Region 6 also stressed the need for unified health protocols between the highly-urbanized Bacolod City and the province of Negros Occidental.
Lacson said the closure of borders with Negros Oriental has not been lifted.
“As far as the airport is concerned, travelers have to present a negative RT-PCR test result, or be swabbed upon arrival,” he added.
The doctors also recommended prohibiting dining in restaurants, closing down of non essential businesses, banning social gatherings for at least two weeks, allowing only immediate family members to attend wakes and funerals, prompt management of homeless and street children by providing them with shelters, allowing home quarantine as long as infrastructure requirements are met, and disallowing 18 years old and below from going out of their homes, unless in emergency cases.
Lacson said that he will discuss the PSMID recommendations with Negros Occidental local chief executives.
“Personally, I’m in favor of a 30-percent occupancy of businesses but with strict protocol compliance,” Lacson said.
Negros Occidental and Bacolod City are under the least restrictive Modified General Community Quarantine status until June 30.*