COVID-19 cases in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental continued to rise Wednesday, April 7.
The Department of Health reported 89 new COVID-19 cases in Negros Occidental and 50 in Bacolod City Wednesday.
The 86 cases in Negros Occidental and 50 in Bacolod City are all locally transmitted, the DOH report said.
Bacolod City now has 351 active COVID-19 cases and Negros Occidental has 552.
Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson is expected to issue and executive order Thursday, April 8, restricting public gatherings, Provincial Administrator Rayfrado Diaz said.
The barangays remain to be the “main battleground” as the city courses its way through the sudden spike of COVID-19 cases over the last two weeks, Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said during a virtual meeting with city and barangay officials Tuesday evening, April 6.
“This is really a barangay operation matter. We are not going to say that we are back to square one because there’s no doubt about it — we have already put in place many systems and infrastructures we did not have at the start of this pandemic. Rather, what is apparent now is that we are back in the danger zone,” Leonardia said.
The virtual meeting tackled COVID-19 surge containment measures and other issues that require the active participation of the barangays.
The mayor said highly urbanized cities like Bacolod are “vulnerable” in terms of the viral spread due to their population density.
Councilor Lady Gles Pallen, president of the Liga ng mga Barangay, said “the police, Task Force Disiplina, and tanods will have to organize a composite monitoring team per barangay to be clustered under each BAC-Up Station.”
In the meantime, even at least one TFD member per barangay should already accompany the tanods when they go around to monitor the proper wearing of face masks and shields, she added.
Leonardia also held a virtual dialog with local transport groups Tuesday and stressed that “COVID-19 has not left yet.”
They discussed the regulation of public transportation and the stricter implementation of minimum health protocols in the transport sector for their safety and that of the riding public, he said.
Leonardia said these measures are not only geared towards protecting the health of public transport operators and drivers, but also to help them maintain their livelihoods amid the surge of cases.
City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan reminded the transport group leaders of the “seven public transport commandments” of the Department of Transportation, which are: wearing of face masks and face shields; no talking and making phone calls while taking public transportation; no eating inside public transport; keeping public utility vehicles well-ventilated; frequent disinfection; not allowing those who have COVID-19 symptoms inside public transportation; and observing appropriate physical distancing.*