CARLA P. GOMEZ
Thirty-five Negrense locally stranded individuals and one Bacolodnon, who recently returned to Negros Occidental, have tested positive for COVID-19, the Department of Health reported yesterday.
Negros Occidental Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said the bulk of the LSIs who tested positive were among the more than 1,500 who returned to the province on 2GO vessels arranged by the national Inter Agency Task Force in the last four days without prior notice and coordination.
The Negros Occidental provincial government has asked the IATF to temporarily suspend the arrival of LSIs by 2GO vessels until the province can clear its quarantine facilities of those who recently arrived.
Fortunately, the release of COVID-19 test results at the Teresita L. Jalandoni Provincial Hospital laboratory in Silay City has improved and during the weekend the provincial government was able to release more than 3,000 LSIs who tested negative from quarantine sites, he said.
That enabled the province to absorb the more than 1,500 who suddenly arrived, he said. Because of these arrivals quarantine sites are full again that is why the temporary suspension of the arrival of more LSIs by 2GO vessels was sought, he said.
The entry of LSIs should be according to the capacity of our quarantine facilities, he said.
He pointed out that there are also 155 to 200 LSIs arriving in the province by plane daily.
The DOH said of the 35 new COVID-positive LSIs in Negros Occidental, five are from Sagay City, three each from Hinigaran, Bago City, Victorias City, and Calatrava, two each from Murcia, Cadiz City, Kabankalan City, Silay City, and Moises Padilla, and one each from Manapla, Binalbagan, Isabela, La Castellana, Cauayan, Hinoba-an, San Carlos City, and Escalante City.
The youngest COVID patient is a 6-month-old female from Murcia, whose LSI mother also has the virus.
Of the 35, two had been re-swabbed and still tested positive.
The DOH also reported that among the COVID-19 positive cases that recovered, there are two each from Bacolod City and Binalbagan, and one each from Talisay City and Silay City.*