BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Despite declining COVID-19 cases and the downgrading to Alert Level 2, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson yesterday said he prefers Negros Occidentalto remain under curfew.
While he is looking forward to that idea, but in the meantime, “I feel that we should still keep the curfew,” Lacson said.
The curfew in Negros Occidental, except for highly-urbanized Bacolod City, is 12 a.m. to 4 a.m. for adults and 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. for minors.
Provincial Consultant for Economic Affairs Alfredo Benitez earlier said that he favors the lifting of curfew, as a first step in going back to normalcy.
“Let’s observe, if we can really maintain this level, or go down to Alert Level 1,” Lacson said.
Lacson stressed that he is always on the side of “caution.”
Negros Occidental and highly-urbanized Bacolod City are now under Alert level 2 until February 28.
COVID-19 active cases in Negros Occidental dropped to 1,992, as of Feb. 16.
Asked if the province can sustain the declining COVID-19 cases, Lacson said “it depends on how we behave,” noting that cases went up in the first two months of this year after the celebration of the yuletide season, after having gone down in the last quarter of last year.
With start of election period, Lacson said he noted difficulties in maintaining social distancing during political campaigns, as what had been happening in Metro Manila and other areas of the country, despite imposition of Comelec on health protocols.
I can’t tell if we can maintain this present situation, or bring it down, he said, apparently referring to declining COVID-19 cases.
“It really depends on how we behave during the election period,”Lacson stressed.
The Provincial Health Office reported 1,291,349 Negrenses have already been vaccinated as of Feb. 12, which is equivalent to 61.54 percent of the targeted 2,098,421 population.
There is no reason also to relax vaccination. In fact, we should even push it, he pointed out.*