BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The highly-urbanized cities of Bacolod and Iloilo remain as “high risk” areas due to the surge of Covid-19 cases in the Western Visayas, the Department of Health 6 said yesterday.
Negros Occidental, on the other hand, remains in the “low risk” category, the DOH-WV report added.
Dr. Bea Camille Natalaray, section head of the DOH-6 Center for Health and Development integrated non-communicable diseases prevention and control program, said Bacolod City has experienced a 16-percent increase in Covid cases in the past two weeks, and Iloilo City a 35-percent hike.
The average daily attack rate for Bacolod was recorded by DOH6 at 13.43 per 100,000 population for the period of May 23 to June 5, and Iloilo City at 16.72 with the same ratio population, Natalaray said during the “Isyung Bakuna” online forum with DOH and the Philippine Information Agency 6.
Meanwhile, the ADAR of Negros Occidental was at 3.21 per 100,000 population and a growth in cases at negative 4.
Majority of the areas in Western Visayas, including Capiz, Aklan, Antique, Guimaras, and Iloilo province, are classified by DOH6 as moderate-risk.
On June 6, Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia issued an executive order imposing “strict precautionary measures to curb the recent spike of Covid-19 infections.”
EO 31 set the curfew hours in Bacolod City from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. and bans the consumption of liquor in public places.
Despite the low-risk classification, Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said Sunday that he may seek anew a General Community Quarantine status for Negros Occidental if the cases continue to increase.
“When the numbers call for it, we might have to go to stricter quarantine status,” Lacson said, noting a net double digit increase per day of Covid-19 active cases.
Active cases in Negros Occidental, including Bacolod City, rose to 3,541, as of June 6, the DOH said.
At present, Negros Occidental and Bacolod are under the least restrictive Modified General Community Quarantine until June 30.
From June 1 to 7, the Teresita Lopez Jalandoni Provincial Hospital molecular laboratory in Silay City reported that, of the 4,790 specimen tested, 668 yielded positive results, with a positivity rate of 13.95 percent.
This would show that three out of 20 specimen samples turned out positive, the TLJPH report said.
Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz, however, said that the situation now is far better compared to the second and third weeks of April, where the positivity rate was 30 percent every day.
Despite the denial of the initial request to place the province under GCQ, Diaz said the provincial government still managed to test, isolate, and treat infected Negrenses, imposed curfew hours, and limit at 30 percent capacity the resorts and other venues for gatherings, and that led to the reduction of cases. He also said that the situation in quarantine facilities are still manageable.*