Western Visayas, which includes Negros Occidental and Bacolod City, will remain under Modified General Community Quarantine in April, even as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.
Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson and Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia during the weekend said they were informed of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases decision to keep their areas under MGCQ in April.
Leonardia said Bacolod will remain under MGCQ, contrary to “fake news” being circulated on social media that it would revert to Enhanced Community Quarantine.
The Department of Health reported 62 new COVID-19 cases in Negros Occidental and 25 in Bacolod City on Saturday and Sunday.
“These are warning signs that we cannot afford to ignore,” Leonardia said.
The threat is there with more contagious new variants emerging, and the COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila also soaring, he said.
Everybody must do their share to prevent the spread of the virus by strictly observing health protocols such as the use of face masks and shields, social distancing, and hand washing, to prevent the city from going back to ECQ, he said.
He also called on the public to avoid mass gatherings and social mixing, and to just create their own family bubble.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” he said.
He also appealed to Bacolod residents to register for vaccination against COVID-19.
“We all want to get out of this pandemic…the vaccine is our way out of this…It is only the vaccine that can save us from this pandemic,” he said.
City Administrator Em Ang said with the increase in COVID-19 cases, Bacolod isolation facilities are getting full.
They have had to arrange for accredited hotels to again serve as isolation facilities for COVID-19 patients who do not wish to stay at the city facilities, Ang, who is also the executive director of Bacolod Emergency Operations Center, said.
Meanwhile, a Bacolod private hospital official Sunday night denied reports that 14 of their emergency room staff tested positive for COVID-19, saying there were only two nurses hit.
The official, however, asked that her name be withheld.*