BY CARLA P. GOMEZ
Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said yesterday he agrees that Negros Occidental should be classified as a medium risk area considering the rising number COVID-19 local transmissions in the province.
Classifying the province as low risk might give Negrenses a false sense of security, he said.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque Wednesday night announced that Negros Occidental and Oriental, and Bacolod City are medium risk areas that will remain under Modified General Community Quarantine until July 31.
In MGCQ medium risk areas, local governments are still advised to implement localized lockdowns, and implement strict health protocols, Roque said.
The Department of Health yesterday reported three new COVID-19 cases in Negros Occidental, one of whom is a 26-year-old male frontliner of the Victorias City Disaster Risk Reduction Management team, and two locally stranded individuals (LSIs) from EB Magalona and La Castellana.
There are also five new COVID-19 positive cases in Bacolod City, four of whom are overseas Filipino workers, and a 53-year-old male health worker.
The DOH also reported that seven COVID-19 positive patients from Bacolod City and 20 from Negros Occidental have recovered.
Lacson yesterday reiterated his call for Negrenses to be extra careful now that there are local transmissions in the province.
“If we have to go out to work or buy essentials, let’s really protect ourselves,” he said.
He said going back to GCQ if the need arises is possible because it will enable the control of movement of people.
Lacson also said the borders between Negros Oriental and Occidental will remain closed.
He said one flight a day into the Bacolod Silay Airport resumed Monday, but they are still sweeper flights since they need approval, and all arriving passengers are still quarantined and tested for COVID-19.
He is requesting that only one ship a week be allowed into the province.
Travel from Cebu has not resumed, he said, pointing out that the mayor of Tabuelan, is still not allowing boarding of vessels from his port to Negros.
If the Tabuelan port in Cebu opens, people coming to Negros will need provincial government approval to return, he said.
Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer said discipline is needed amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the province.
The local government units are the ones implementing health protocols in the towns and cities, he said.*