Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said he is meeting with the mayors of Negros Occidental Friday, June 11, to discuss the tightening of border controls and other recommendations of doctors calling for immediate action to curb the COVID- 19 surge before it is too late.
Western Visayas hit another all time high Thursday with 828 new COVID-19 cases in a single day, the Department of Health reported.
Negros Occidental had 212 new COVID-19 cases followed by Iloilo province with 209, Bacolod City – 139, Iloilo City 103, Aklan – 68, Capiz -54, Antique -23 and Guimaras – 20, the DOH said.
Western Visayas also had 13 new COVID-19 deaths with two in Negros Occidental and one in Bacolod City.
Bacolod City has 1,608 COVID-19 active cases and Negros Occidental has 2,122, the DOH also reported.
Lacson and provincial consultant Alfredo Abelardo Benitez held a meeting to listen to the inputs and concerns of the medical community on Wednesday.
The Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (PSMID) – Western Visayas doctors called on 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 said he will propose to the mayors the closing of all of Negros Occidental borders to non essential travelers from Negros Oriental for two weeks at their meeting Friday.
Lacson said he has to talk with the mayors because there has to be people to man the borders in San Carlos, Kabankalan, Hinoba-an, and La Castellana.
He cannot close the seaports in Bacolod City that allow the entry of travelers from other parts of the country and Panay since they are not under his jurisdiction, Lacson said.
Lacson also pointed out that at the Bacolod Silay Airport travelers have to present negative RT-PCR test results for COVID-19 or be swabbed on their arrival so he thinks that is enough.
The PSMID also recommended a ban on dinning in restaurants and pubs and on social gatherings for at least two weeks, and the closing down of non-essential businesses.
Only immediate family members should be allowed to attend wakes and funerals with strict implementation of health protocols, the PSMID also said.
Lacson said personally he is not in favor of closing down businesses, he prefers that they instead continue to limit their customers to 30 percent of their venue capacities, which they have been following already.
“I prefer to do that because it is really very difficult if you just close them again…small businesses are so affected already,” he said.*