Travelers from areas in Panay Island under higher quarantine status than Negros Occidental must submit COVID-19 negative RT-PCR test results on entry into the province, Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said Wednesday, July 21.
Negros Occidental is currently under General Community Quarantine (GCQ).
Areas in Panay under higher restrictions are Iloilo City and Iloilo province that are under Enhanced Community Quarantine, and Aklan, Antique, and Capiz that are under GCQ with heightened restrictions.
Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia on July 18 also issued an executive order banning leisure travel between Bacolod City and Panay Island as a border control deterrent against the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant.
Department of Health (DOH) officials earlier announced that a close watch is up for clustering and surges of COVID-19 cases in Western Visayas following the detection of two Delta variant cases in Panay.
Hit by the Delta variant were an elderly couple from Antique who were hospitalized on May 27. The husband who was asymptomatic recovered but the wife died on May 31.
The Delta variant is estimated to be approximately 40 to 60 percent more transmissible than the Alpha variant and is associated with increased hospitalization, Director Alethea De Guzman, of the DOH Epidemiology Bureau, said.
She said while a SARS-CoV-2 hit person infects two to three persons, a Delta variant carrier can infect from five to eight persons.
The Delta variant is also associated with approximately double the risk of hospitalization compared with the Alpha variant, she said.*