BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
While the numbers of COVID-19 patients are increasing in Metro Manila hospitals reportedly due to the Omicron variant, there is only one patient being treated at the designated COVID-19 hospital – Cadiz District Hospital – in Negros Occidental, disclosed Provincial Inter Agency Task Force action officer Rayfrando Diaz yesterday.
At the same time, the three quarantine facilities in cities of Silay, Cadiz, and EB Magalona are still empty of occupants, Diaz said.
Despite the positive development, Diaz said that quarantine facilities staff have been ordered to stay for a while as they will observe the trend in the next two weeks, to see if there are any adverse effects of holiday season celebrations where people appeared to have lower their guards down against COVID-19.
He advised the public not be complacent and always observe the minimum health protocols.
COVID-19 active cases in Negros Occidental are down to 177 as of January 3 from its peak of more than 4,400 in October last year, according to a report of the Provincial Incident Management Team.
Diaz said that the 93-bed main building of Cadiz District Hospital will now be solely for COVID-19 patients, with the newly-finished annex building, which is filled with 100 beds, to be earmarked for use by non-COVID patients.
The two other COVID-19 designated hospitals – Valladolid District Hospital and Valeriano Gatuslao Memorial Hospital in Himamaylan City – returned to their normal operations as regular hospitals.
Because of Omicron variant threats, Diaz said there is still a need to heighten the campaign on awareness against COVID-19, as he sees the need to do it, specifically in Metro Manila.
As people come in from abroad, the strict screening should at the Philippines entry point, he stressed.
A 38-year-old seaman, who is not a Bacolodnon, is now being isolated at a quarantine facility in Bacolod City, after he was tested positive for COVID-19 Omicron variant. He arrived in Bacolod City on December 31.
Diaz said he is hopeful and praying that Negros Occidental will not return to epidemic wave.*