Mayor Evelio Leonardia is asking for additional vaccines from the national government as the number of COVID-19 cases in Bacolod City is still alarming.
Leonardia in a July 1 letter to Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer and vaccine czar of the National Task Force Against Covid-19, said he is requesting for additional vaccines to be able to accelerate the pace of vaccinations in Bacolod City and to move through the priority groups more quickly.
He said the city government is doing its best to contain the spread of the virus, but Bacolod is still “experiencing an alarmingly persistent surge of Covid-19 cases.”
Bacolod had closed the month of June with the highest number of cases since the start of the pandemic, he said.
“Hospitalizations have hit record levels, and although we have recently added additional rooms and beds, our Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facilities (TTMF) are reaching full capacity,” the mayor said.
He added that hospitals in the city are reporting staff shortages and “precipitous” declines in finances due to non-payment of PhilHealth claims.
Leonardia also acknowledged the struggle of healthcare workers who are already exhausted “to the point of breaking” due to the influx of patients since the start of the pandemic.
“In response to the surge, we are consistently implementing and strengthening the PDITR strategy, expanded Covid-19 testing, intensified contact tracing, limited large gatherings, and regulated inbound travel,” the mayor said.
Leonardia added that Bacolod is coordinating with the RIATF and NIATF, as well as local health facilities and medical societies.
“Although we have already started Covid-19 vaccinations last March 5, 2021, we have only so far fully vaccinated 11,047 persons and partially vaccinated 53,466, out of our population of 624,987, owing to the limited supply of vaccines arriving in our city,” the mayor lamented.
Vaccination is a “crucial strategy in ending this pandemic,” that is why additional doses would be of great help to improve the Covid-19 situation in Bacolod, he said.
Bacolod City was recently included as one of the NCR Plus 10 priority areas for vaccination, however, the only vaccines it has received after the announcement were 7,800 doses one June 30, he said in his letter.
“We believe that if we ramp up vaccinations, we will be able to significantly reduce Covid-19 deaths and hospitalizations,” the mayor said.
After Leonardia sent the letter to Galvez, 10,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines arrived to Bacolod City Tuesday, July 6.*