BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
The Bacolod Emergency Operations Center Task Force has asked the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force to approve its request for a moratorium on the entry of locally stranded individuals outside Region 6, authorized persons outside residence, and foreign workers to the city from December 21 to January 3.
Dr. Chris Sorongon, deputy for medical data analysis and assessment of EOC-TF, said that this will give reprieve to the city’s health workers and enable the disinfection of the isolation facilities.
The existing guidelines on the accommodation of LSIs, APORs, and FWs are still being followed but more concise travel guidelines will be put in place once the moratorium is approved, Sorongon said.
Currently, LSIs, APORs, and FWs are allowed to enter Bacolod but they will be subjected to swab tests and 14-day quarantine on top of several documents that they need to accomplish and submit.
City Administrator Em Ang said they are also discussing a proposal that LSIs coming from areas outside Region 6 would no longer be required to undergo swab testing when they arrived in Bacolod.
In lieu of the swab, LSIs will be asked to bring with them their reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) result showing they are negative for Covid-19 and the swab test should be taken within 72 hours or three days before their scheduled trip to Bacolod, Ang said.
She said they initially planned to require RT-PCR tests taken within 24 hours of the scheduled trip but they realized that it is not practical and doable.
Ang said the requirement on the submission of negative RT-PCR test result before accepting LSIs in Bacolod would help them ensure that those who are returning to the city are Covid-free. This will also lessen the number of people being quarantined in isolation facilities.
LSIs with RT-PCR negative results can go home directly and continue their self-quarantine while those who test positive before their scheduled trip will not be allowed entry.
Ang said LSIs who tested positive should secure a certificate showing that they have finished their 14-day quarantine and they have recovered from the disease.
Ang noted that most of the new index cases and the existing ones are comprised of the LSIs, the APORs and the returning overseas workers, hence, the strict rules on their return is being implemented.
City Health officer-in-charge, Edwin Miraflor Jr., said they are trying to work on sending online the medical certificates of Bacolod residents who wish to travel outside the region to fast-track the distribution.
Miraflor also said that before the travel certificates are issued, the concerned residents need to present their backtrack identification card and health declaration forms, among others. To avoid overcrowding at the CHO, Miraflor said they only serve a hundred residents in the morning and another hundred in the afternoon, with those who already have travel tickets given priority.*