BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Despite the denial of the Inter-Agency Task Force to place Negros Occidental under the General Community Quarantine status, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson called on Negrenses yesterday to act as if “we are under the GCQ”.
The Department of Health Western Visayas has classified Negros Occidental as a Covid-19 “high risk” area, due to the surge in active cases for more than a month now, after the IATF declared that mandatory swab testing was no longer mandatory upon arrival in any point of entry.
Lacson said that he and local government executives had been asking the IATF to place Negros Occidental under the GCQ, as he declared that the province is no longer safe.
But Lacson said he got no reaction from the task force.
With Negros Occidental classified as a high risk area, Lacson said “we’ve always been saying that they should allow LGUs to decide the community quarantine classification in their areas.”
Now, they accept the fact, he said, noting that active cases had been in triple digits in the past weeks.
Lacson said the imposition of curfew hours, from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m., helps a lot in curbing the spread of the virus, adding that, for the first time, the province had more recoveries than new cases on April 20.
On Tuesday, Negros Occidental logged 2,233 active cases, excluding the 691 in Bacolod City.
Lacson also said that he will continue to impose the curfew hours, and allow LGUs to close resorts in their areas, to prevent the increase of Covid-19 cases. While waiting for the new quarantine status of Negros Occidental, Lacson said he is urging Negrenses to continue doing their share by protecting themselves and avoiding non-essential travels.*