The Department of Health has classified Negros Occidental as a high-risk area for COVID-19 and Bacolod City as a moderate risk area, a DOH official announced Monday, April 19.
Negros Occidental’s COVID-19 average daily attack rate per 100,000 population has increased from 1.45 percent to 5.26 percent, Dr. Mary Jane Juanico, DOH 6 infectious disease cluster head, said in a virtual press conference.
The two-week COVID-19 growth rate of Negros Occidental was 261 percent, she added.
Bacolod City has been classified as a moderate risk area with its daily attack rate having increased from 3.79 percent to 5.98 percent, while its two-week growth rate is 58 percent, Juanico said.
Twenty-eight persons hit by COVID-19 in Negros Occidental and Bacolod City have died this month.
There have been 16 deaths in Negros Occidental in April, Dr. Ernell Tumimbang, Provincial Health Officer, said Monday.
Among the Negros Occidental COVID casualties is a doctor from La Castellana town who suffered from a cardiac arrest, Mayor Rhumyla Mangilimutan said.
In Bacolod, there have been 12 deaths in April, City Administrator Em Ang, executive director of the Bacolod Emergency Operations Center, said Monday.
Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said the classification of Negros Occidental as high risk is what he has been saying all this time, that is why he asked the national Inter-Agency Task Force to place the province under General Community Quarantine so more stringent rules could be enforced to prevent the spread of the virus.
However, the request was denied.
“I don’t know if that (the DOH high risk classification) will change the minds of the IATF (officials) on the province’s quarantine status,” he said.
Negros Occidental is currently under Modified General Community Quarantine.
Negros Occidental had 133 new local COVID-19 cases, while Bacolod City had 23 on Monday, the DOH 6 reported.
Negros Occidental also had 2,073 active cases and Bacolod City had 665 on Monday, the DOH added.
The province has had a total 9,716 COVID-19 cases and 203 deaths since March last year, the DOH said.
Bacolod City has had 6,779 COVID-19 cases with 198 deaths, the DOH added.
The barangays with highest number of COVID 19 cases in Bacolod City were Mansilingan – 73, Estefania – 69 and Taculing – 61, Juanico said.
The DOH has no evidence yet that new COVID-19 variants have hit Negros Occidental and Bacolod City, she added.
Lacson said the new COVID-19 cases in Negros Occidental are still in the triple digits, but the numbers are lower than last week.
He is hoping that with many graduating from quarantine, the number of active cases will drop.
Negros Occidental is expecting an influx of passengers from Luzon, Davao and Cebu, Tuesday, April 20.
The travel moratorium to Western Visayas ended Monday.
Lacson reiterated his call to incoming passengers to agree to be tested for COVID-19 on arrival and quarantined until their negative tests results are out.
Those who refuse will have to be tested for COVID-19 before their departure for Negros Occidental, he added.*