Docs to guv: Close borders, non essential businesses for 2 weeks before COVID surge worsens

Infectious diseases doctors are calling on Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson to close borders or ports of entry in Negros Occidental to non essential travelers, including overseas Filipino workers, for two weeks to curb the COVID-19 surge.

Lacson and provincial consultant Alfredo Abelardo Benitez held a meeting to listen to the inputs and concerns of the medical community at the Capitol in Bacolod City and via Zoom Wednesday afternoon, June 9.

“We will adopt what we can. The Provincial Incident Management Team will deliberate and adopt measures,” Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz, said.

The Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (PSMID) – Western Visayas doctors called on Lacson to implement their recommendations at the soonest possible time before the situation gets out of hand.

The PSMID recommended not allowing dinning in restaurants and pubs, the closing down of non-essential businesses, and a ban on social gatherings for at least two weeks.

Only immediate family members should be allowed to attend wakes and funerals with strict implementation of health protocols, the PSMID said.

The doctors also called for the prompt management of homeless people and street children by housing them or providing them with face masks and shields, and for proper policing of quarantine facilities.

The PSMID recommended that home quarantine be allowed as long as infrastructure requirements are met and strict monitoring is enforced.

The doctors also stressed that children below 18 years old should not be allowed out for two weeks unless in cases of emergency when health protocols are still observed.

“In addition, we could not emphasize enough the importance of vaccinations against the SARS-Cov2 virus , and we highly recommend a massive information campaign to prod the people to be confident about getting vaccinated as early as possible,” they added.

“While we fully understand the possible consequences of these restrictions on our economy, it is our firm belief that a drop in COVID cases would benefit our economy in the long run…If the COVID infection gets uncontrolled, it can have dire consequences eventually on our economy,” PSMID doctors said.

Doctors are also calling for unified health protocols between Negros Occidental and Bacolod City to stem the spread of the virus.

Benitez pointed out that the provincial government is focusing on COVID-19 testing.

“In the fight against COVID-19 out first defense should be prevention and isolation,” he said.*

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