Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said yesterday that the rising COVID-19 cases in Bacolod City can easily be brought down with the cooperation of the people.
The formula they adopted in Cebu City, which has succeeded, was to bring the battlefield down to the barangay, he said.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Negros Occidental and Bacolod City are still much lower than those in Cebu City at its height, he said.
Cimatu, who was named overseer of Task Force COVID-19 in Cebu by President Rodrigo Duterte, Presidential Assistant for the Visayas, Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino, and retired general Mel Feliciano, met with Negros Occidental and Bacolod City officials Wednesday and yesterday.
Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia thanked the president for sending immediate help, saying the team of Cimatu is needed by the city because it has the experience in battling COVID-19.
“We are here to help Bacolod, help the people… because (the) mayor sent a letter to the president asking for assistance, manpower, and other equipment, including how to stop the rising cases in Bacolod,” Cimatu said.
“The average number of cases here in Bacolod is 30 (a day), while during that time in Cebu (City) it was 350 cases per day, but now it is down to 10 to 15. Here 30, we can easily bring down, with the cooperation of the people,” Cimatu said.
Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said the team of Cimatu, with their experience in Cebu, can help Negros Occidental and Bacolod in the fight against COVID-19.
“I would like to point out that we have not reached the numbers of Cebu,” Lacson said, but added that he is happy the national government has shown concern.
“It’s better to take the same action they did in Cebu for a lower number of positive cases. After 5 months Negros Occidental breached the 1,000 mark (in COVID-19 cases), with 50 percent having recovered,” Lacson said.
When Cimatu was informed of the number of cases in Negros Occidental he said it was not that bad because it is lower than what Cebu City had, Lacson added.
Dino said there is a formula for bringing down the COVID-19 cases. “It may not be a perfect formula for this COVID, but at least we have a very good plan for Bacolod. The help will be here very, very soon,” he said.
Department of Health and Armed Forces of the Philippines doctors and nurses will arrive in Bacolod to help, Dino said.
A command center will be setup in Western Visayas to unify information and action for Bacolod and Iloilo cities, he added.
“We will go back to Cebu, but we will be back on Tuesday, and we will be full time here in Bacolod, and Iloilo,” Feliciano said.
Meanwhile, Dino turned over five High Flow Nasal Systems and Remdesivir Lyophilized Powder, which are necessary for critical care, to the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital in Bacolod City.
A dialysis center will be set up outside the CLMMRH to ensure that dialysis patients are safe from COVID through the help of the private sector, Dino added.
The Department of Health reported yesterday that Bacolod City had 75 new COVID-19 cases and Negros Occidental had 34.
This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases in Negros Occidental to 1,053, and 884 in Bacolod City.*CPG