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Bing asks nat’l gov’t for more vaccines

Dr. Chris Sorongon (foreground), EOC deputy for medical, facilitated the fourth day of the mass vaccination at SM yesterday, and the City issued an advisory suspending the last day of the rollout today* City PIO photo

Mayor Evelio “Bing” Leonardia has requested the national government to allocate more vaccines for Bacolod, citing the urgent need to inoculate more residents amid the continued spike in local cases.

In his May 5, 2021 letter to Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementor of the National Task Force for Covid-19, Leonardia said, “We most respectfully request for an increase in our allocation of vaccines from the national government, as we are being hit hard by this new wave of Covid-19 infections.”

“Ramping up our vaccination program will be critical to saving lives and restoring the economic activity in our city,” Leonardia added.

The number of Covid-19 cases in Bacolod continues to increase, resulting in increases in hospitalizations and deaths, the mayor said in a press release from the city yesterday.

HOSPITALS, ICUs ALMOST FULL

Hospitals and intensive care units are now nearing their full capacities, and staff shortages have been reported, too.

The Emergency Operations Center has recorded an alarming increase of 422 percent in the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the City, from only 271 in March to 1,415 in April.

The increase was recorded despite the fact that Bacolod has some of the strictest policies in place, like mask mandates, capacity limits, liquor ban, curfew, suspension of inbound travel, and alternative work arrangements, among other mitigating measures.

Last night, the city government issued an advisory suspending the last day of mass vaccination at SM City Bacolod today.

The Covid-19 Vaccination Council of Bacolod said they need to reassess the protocols and procedures, including crowd control, in order to implement a more orderly and safer flow of vaccination, the advisory added.

The rollout started May 3, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and organized by the EOC and CoVaC, both chaired by Leonardia, to accommodate the remaining frontline healthcare workers, senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities.

A total of 1,233 Bacolodnons were inoculated from Monday to Wednesday at the mall.

“We have been doing our very best to be ahead in terms of measures to limit the spread of Covid-19. We are also on pace to have more new cases as we continue to intensify contact tracing and expand targeted testing,” Leonardia said.

He added, “As city mayor, I prioritize the health and welfare of our citizens above all other considerations. We will spare no effort to ensure that Bacolodnons can get vaccinated quickly and effectively.”

AMONG THE FIRST

Bacolod was among the very first local government units in the country to secure 650,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine. But these doses will not be delivered until the third quarter of the year, he said.

“While we have already started to roll out our vaccination program, our allocation from the national government comes in trickles,” Leonardia said.

To date, Bacolod has received only 19,160 vaccine doses from the national government. With this limited number of vaccines, it has inoculated, so far, only 11,993 out of its 424,992 residents eligible for vaccination.

“As we are experiencing a sharp increase in new cases and the threat of an even faster spread, we need to accelerate the pace of vaccinations to move through the priority groups more quickly,” Leonardia said.*

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