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IATF denies NegOcc GCQ plea

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

The Inter-Agency Task Force denied the request of the provincial government of Negros Occidental to place the province under the General Community Quarantine status because the Covid-19 infection rate has not reached the required level for such classification, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said yesterday.

The infection rate of Covid cases in two weeks was at 107 percent, it should be 200 percent to qualify for a GCQ, Lacson said, based on his phone conversation Monday with regional IATF chief, Juan Jovian Ingeniero.

As of April 12, Negros Occidental logged 1,933 Covid-19 active cases, including the 456 infections in Bacolod City.

“My point is, why wait for 200 percent? Why not take drastic measures or stricter quarantine to try to address the problem? Why wait to reach that level?” Lacson asked.

Lacson, who noted that the spike of Covid cases has been in triple digits in the past five days, said it appears that “IATF does not allow us to be proactive.”

Officially, based on the statements of Ingeniero, the request was denied because it was not necessary, according to the IATF, Lacson said.

Asked if he will file a motion for reconsideration on the IATF decision, Lacson said he will not because he anticipates a similar result.

Despite the denial, he said the province will be even stricter, especially on leisure travel, and is contemplating to order the closure of resorts in Negros Occidental for two weeks. Lacson admitted that Negros Occidental, that remains under the least restrictive Modified GCQ until April 30 as declared by Malacañang, is not safe, as of this time.*

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