Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said stricter measures will be imposed to prevent the surge in COVID-19 cases in the province, with the denial of his request to place Negros Occidental under General Community quarantine.
Among these measures will be the closure of tourist destinations in areas with high COVID-19 cases, he said Tuesday afternoon, April 13.
Tourist destinations in areas with low COVID-19 cases will be allowed to operate at 50 percent of their venue capacity, he said.
Cockpits have already been closed, Lacson added.
Limited attendance at weddings, baptisms and funerals will be strictly enforced, Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said.
The swabbing of persons who die with COVID-19 symptoms will also be enforced, he said.
This is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at wakes and funerals, he explained.
Lacson said he was informed on Monday that the national Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases could not place Negros Occidental under GCQ because its COVID-19 numbers had not reached the required level for that classification.
“The IATF did not allow us to be pro-active,“ Lacson said, adding that he will not file for reconsideration since “we will still get the same result”.
Negros Occidental remains under Modified General Community Quarantine.
The Provincial Incident Management Team reported 1,572 active COVID-19 in Negros Occidental on Tuesday, with four local government units (LGUs) hitting triple digits and two with no active cases.
The LGUs with the highest number COVID-19 cases are San Carlos City with 301, Cauayan – 125, Kabankalan City – 123 and Cadiz City -117.
Only Candoni and Salvador Benedicto have no active COVID-19 cases.
Negros Occidental has had 8,952 COVID-19 cases since March 2020, with 7,142 recoveries and 238 deaths, the PIMT also reported.
Meanwhile, Lacson said the 11,400 Sinovac vaccines that arrived Monday will be for medical frontliners, such as barangay health workers.
The hopefully the vaccination of indigent senior citizens and persons with comorbidities can follow, he said.*