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Shorter curfew hours eyed

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

The shortening of curfew hours in Negros Occidental is being considered by the provincial government when Covid-19 cases continue to go down.

Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said yesterday that there is a clamor from small businesses to adjust the curfew hours of 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. in the province.

“If there’s a drop to 1,000 active cases, maybe we can shorten the curfew hours. We will do it slowly, we are looking at 9 p.m., but again depending on active cases,” he added.

Lacson issued an executive order implementing the curfew hours starting April 12, following a spike in Covid-19 cases.

As to the possibility of reopening resorts in the province, Lacson said he will leave it up to the discretion of local government units.

But he suggested to LGUs that if they do open the resorts, health protocols should be strictly followed, and to start with a 30-percent occupancy capacity, and then adjust it later, depending on the cases. “But it is very important that we do not allow 100 percent capacity,” Lacson said.

Sipalay City, dubbed as the “Jewel of the South”, already reopened its resorts to Negrenses and foreigners in the province, as long as entry requirements are complied with.

Both Negros Occidental and the highly-urbanized Bacolod City had been categorized as Covid-19 low-risk areas in Western Visayas by the Department of Health 6, following a reduction in the average daily attack rate and growth in cases.

As of May 19, Negros Occidental logged 1,330 active cases, compared to its peak of 2,631 two weeks ago.

Lacson said he is hoping for a continuous reduction of Covid cases, and for an effective contact tracing and continued vigilance by Negrenses.

“With more vaccines coming for the province, we can slowly lower, or avoid more cases,” he added. He also thanked the Negros Occidental provincial government workers for showing up at the Negros Residences vaccine center and getting inoculated.*

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