President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday, July 29, extended the General Community Quarantine with Heightened Restrictions (GCQ-HR) classification of Bacolod City until August 15 amid the Delta variant threat from neighboring Panay Island.
The Department of Health (DOH) Thursday night reported the detection of four more COVID-19 Delta variant cases in Western Visayas bringing the total to six.
Of the four new cases in Panay, three are local cases and one is a returning overseas Filipino, Dr. Helen Tobias, DOH 6 assistant regional director, said in a virtual press conference.
The cases include a 59-year-old female from Antique where the two previous cases were detected. She was admitted at the Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo City on July 8, was discharged on July 20, and at present is undergoing home quarantine, Tobias said.
The second case is a 30-year-old male from Mandurriao, Iloilo City, who is under quarantine, and a 32-year-old female dialysis patient who died Thursday due to kidney failure.
The fourth case is a 46-year-old male returning overseas Filipino from Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo City, who is in Manila, Tobias added.
She stressed the importance of getting vaccinated against COVID-19 now that the local transmission of the Delta variant has been established.
The public is also reminded that they can still get infected and possibly infect others with COVID-19 even after getting fully vaccinated, she said.
It is important to complete the required doses of the vaccine to get the maximum protection against severe and critical COVID-19 and even death, she added.
It is imperative to continue the practice of minimum public health standards such as wearing of face masks and shields, physical distancing, regular washing of hands and ensuring that there is enough airflow when inside closed spaces, Tobias said.
Although the COVID-19 cases in Bacolod City have been on the decline, City Administrator Em Ang said she believes the city was placed under GCQ-HR until August 15 because the Delta variant is still a threat in Western Visayas.
Alpha and Beta variant cases have also been detected in the region, she pointed out.
She also believes that Bacolod was placed under a higher quarantine classification “so we will not be complacent about strictly enforcing border controls and the implementation of minimum health protocols”, Ang added.
Bacolod City had 47 new COVID-19 cases for a total of 1,223 active cases on Thursday, the DOH reported.
Iloilo City and Iloilo province have been placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine until August 7, and Antique, Aklan, Bacolod City, Capiz and Negros Oriental under GCQ-HR until August 15, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said.
Guimaras and Negros Occidental will be under GCQ until August 31, he added.
The province of Iloilo will continue to close its borders to non-residents until August 7.*