National Inter-Agency Task Force Resolution No. 101 has failed, it has caused an alarming surge in COVID-19 cases in Negros Occidental and unscrupulous persons have cashed in on it by selling fake negative RT-PCR results, Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said Thursday, March 25.
Eight COVID-19 RT-PCR results submitted by persons returning to Kabankalan City have been reported, he said.
Diaz said he has screenshots of passengers bound for the province negotiating for the purchase of fake RT-PCR test results.
The provincial government previously required passengers entering Negros Occidental to be swabbed for RT-PCR tests on arrival and quarantined until their negative COVID-19 results were released.
Under Resolution 101, the provincial government can only require negative RT-PCR results of passengers prior to their arrival in Negros Occidental and it can no longer quarantine them.
Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said he will ask the national IATF to allow Negros Occidental to again test and quarantine incoming passengers on arrival.
Unscrupulous persons have been discovered to be selling fake negative RT-PCR test results at the pier to passengers to enable them to board vessels bound for the province for P900 to P2,000, Diaz said.
The spread of the virus could have been avoided if the previous protocol practiced by the provincial government had not been disallowed, he said.
“Our system worked for eight months, now we are suffering the effects of Resolution 101…we are living under the threat of COVID-19,” Diaz said.
There were 21 new COVID- 19 cases reported in Negros Occidental and 19 in Bacolod City on Thursday.
The Provincial Incident Management Team reported 268 active COVID-19 cases in Negros Occidental.
Diaz said the concern of Negros Occidental has reached several senators and they will make representations for the reversal of Resolution 101.
The imposition of the previous rule on arriving passengers may be contained in an executive order of the governor that will take effect in April, he said.
Dr. Chris Sorongon, Bacolod Emergency Operations Center deputy for medical data and analysis, said the city government is closely checking all RT-PCR test results submitted by persons wanting to return to Bacolod.
They have received reports that fake RT-PCR reports are being sold at seaports and airports for P900 to P1,200, he said.
Sorongon stressed the need for people to stay at home with the increase in COVID-19 cases.
They have noted that whole families are being infected with the virus lately, Sorongon said.
There are families of seven, eight and nine who have all tested positive for COVID, he said.
He also said three personnel at the Riverside Medical Center Inc. – a nurse, a consultant doctor, and a radiologic technician have also tested positive for COVID-19.
Meanwhile, 2,889 hospital health care workers in Negros Occidental have been vaccinated, Diaz said.
The next to be vaccinated will be barangay health workers and personnel of rural health units, he added.