The Western Visayas Regional Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has approved the suspension of the arrival of locally stranded individuals (LSIs) in the cities of Himamaylan and Victorias and the municipalities of Calatrava and Cauayan in Negros Occidental.
The suspension of the arrival of LSIs in Himamaylan, Victorias and Calatrava will be from December 21 to January 3 and for Cauayan from December 20 to January 3, RIATF Resolution 87, Series of 2020, said.
The suspension requests were made to give the LGUs time to disinfect and prepare their quarantine facilities before admitting more incoming LSIs and returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs), and to provide their frontliners adequate time to rests.
The RIATF earlier suspended the arrival of LSIs in Negros Occidental on December 24,25, 31 and January 1.
Dr. Zephard Gerhart Caelian, commander of the Provincial Incident Management Team (PIMT), said the RIATF also suspended the arrival of LSIs in four other Negros Occidental towns and cities.
They are Sagay City from November 26 to December 10, La Carlota City from December 22 to January 2, Ilog from December 20 to January 3 and Pontevedra from December 22 to January 5.
Caelian said 35,095 Negrenses have returned to the province from March 30 to December 8 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
There were 25, 902 LSIs and 9,193 ROFs who returned to Negros Occidental, he said.
An influx of returning Negrenses is expected this December for the holidays, he added.
Caelian said from December 1 to 8, a total of 2, 443 LSIs and 628 ROFs returned to Negros Occidental.
He said 3,136 migrant sugarcane workers also entered Negros Occidental from the provinces of Antique, Aklan and the neighboring Negros Oriental.
Meanwhile, the 136 Badjaos repatriated from Victorias and Sagay cities in Negros Occidental during the weekend have returned to their tribes in Zamboanga, Basilan and Sulu, he said.
Their return to Mindanao, however, is no assurance that they may come back to Negros Occidental in the future as under the Constitution, they are guaranteed the freedom to travel, Caelian said.*