Duterte places Bacolod under MGCQ but let’s stay vigilant vs. COVID – mayor

City PIO file photo

President Rodrigo Duterte announced tonight, November 30, the de-escalation of Bacolod City’s quarantine status from General Community Quarantine to the less stringent Modified General Community Quarantine this December.

Only Metro Manila, Batangas, Iloilo City, Tacloban City, Lanao del Sur, Iligan, and Davao City will remain under GCQ until the end of the year, he said.

The rest of the country will be under MGCQ.

Mayor Evelio Leonardia, who had asked for the downgrade of Bacolod’s quarantine status with the recent drop of COVID-19 cases in the city, said the announcement of the president is good news, but “we have to warn our people that if we are not careful our problems might come back.”

Bacolod was placed under GCQ in November and October following a spike of COVID-19 cases in the city.

“We have to be responsible during the holidays because the virus does not recognize Christmas and New Year,” the mayor said.

He stressed the need for cooperation in fighting the spread of COVID-19.

“The best gift that we can give to our loved ones this Christmas is to strictly observe health protocols,” Leonardia said.

Leonardia said he would issue an executive order placing Bacolod under MGCQ later this evening.

Under MGCQ, more businesses will be allowed to open and rules will be loosened up, but this comes with the obligation to sustain Bacolod’s gains in the fight against COVID-19, he said.

“This is just a recognition that we had done well in containing the virus but this is no assurance at all that the virus will not come back,” he said.

Under MGCQ, churches may hold masses and services at 50 percent capacity, he also said.

The mayor said the city government is eyeing the reduction of curfew hours in Bacolod City that is currently from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m., to 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. in the second half of December.

Bacolod Bishop Patricio Buzon had earlier asked for curfew in Bacolod to end at 3 a.m. instead of 4 a.m. to allow the faithful to attend the dawn Aguinaldo masses held daily from December 16 to 24.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health reported today that COVID-19 has hit 5,384 persons in Bacolod City and killed 162, while 4,935 have recovered and 287 are active cases.*

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