Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson called on Negrenses on Wednesday, September 15, to protect themselves with a further surge of COVID-19 cases expected in Negros Occidental.
“You really have to protect yourselves, this is not a joke,” Lacson appealed to Negrenses.
Negros Occidental hit a record high of 26 COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday bringing the total to 104 in the first 15 days of September, Provincial Incident Management Team data showed.
The province COVID-19 active cases also hit 2,201 on Wednesday from 2,043 on Tuesday.
Bacolod City has had 47 COVID-19 deaths in the first half of September at an average of three deaths per day, Dr. Chris Sorongon, Bacolod City Emergency Operations Center deputy for medical data and analysis, also said.
Bacolod had 96 new COVID-19 cases for a total of 1,508 active cases, and seven new deaths on Wednesday, the Department of Health (DOH) reported.
“I think these numbers will even go higher, I also think we will be breaking records soon…I think it’s really the Delta variant that is present in the province,” Lacson said, citing the triple-digit new COVID-19 cases in Negros Occidental on a daily basis.
“Individually we just have to protect ourselves,” he said.
The conversion of the Valeriano M. Gatuslao Memorial District Hospital in Himamaylan City into a COVID-19 center and the expansion of the Cadiz District Hospital will help meet the rising number of cases, he said.
“What is happening in Metro Manila is also happening here, we even have private hospitals that are already at full capacity,” he said.
He reminded Negrenses to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to ensure that they are protected.
Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz, in a memorandum issued Wednesday, said all patient referrals in the province must pass through the One Hospital Command System (OHCS).
Starting Wednesday the “no OHCSW referral, no admission policy,” will be strictly implemented to avoid walk-ins and overcrowding at triage and emergency rooms as well as to protect the overwhelmed workforce, he said.
All patients must contact their local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, city or municipal health offices or 911, he said.
Hospitals will use quarantine centers as step down facilities for stable patients, he said. This will be done to make room at hospitals for patients requiring medical intervention, Diaz said.
The Bacolod Emergency Operations Center has asked the Department of Health for additional medical personnel and supplies because Bacolod’s hospitals have hit a critical state with the rise in COVID-19 cases, Sorongon said.
They have also sent requests to the Philippine Red Cross and Philippine Army for the possible setting up of tent hospitals adjacent to existing hospitals, he added.
The situation is very alarming, almost 95 to 96 percent of the COVID-19 patients at Bacolod hospitals are unvaccinated, he said.*