BY NANETTE L. GUADALQUIVER
Locally-stranded individuals (LSIs) cannot enter Sipalay City, Negros Occidental in the next 14 days because of limited space in its quarantine facility.
The suspension of the arrival of LSIs from Sept. 28 to Oct. 11 was approved by the Western Visayas Regional Inter-Agency Task Force and the Regional Task Force Covid-19 under Resolution No. 40, issued on Saturday.
“The (city’s) remaining bed capacity will not be enough in the next two weeks,” the resolution stated, citing figures showing that only 41 beds are available in the 235-bed quarantine facility.
Earlier, Mayor Gina Lizares issued Executive Order 36 imposing the suspension of the issuance of certificate of appearance to Sipalay for 14 days.
The RIATF and RTF said there has also been a delay in the release of Covid-19 test results in the province as some personnel of the Teresita L. Jalandoni Provincial Hospital Molecular Laboratory have been quarantined due to contamination which reduced manpower.
There has also been a delay in the release of results after a mass testing was conducted in the cities of Bacolod, Talisay, Silay, and Bago, and the town of Murcia from Aug. 28 to 31.
Since mid-August, Sipalay has banned tourists as the number of Covid-19 cases continued to rise in Negros Occidental and Bacolod City.
Before the moratorium ended on Sept. 16, Sipalay extended the ban on tourism-related and non-essential travels until Sept. 30.
Also prohibited until the end of the month are visits to relatives and friends, church-related activities, school-related transactions, and house-to-house retail selling.
Those allowed to travel to Sipalay are only persons with medical-related transactions, business transactions with open establishments, government-related transactions, delivery of goods and items, non-residents from non-high risk areas who are employed in Sipalay, and residents who are employed in non-high risk areas.*PNA