BY CARLA P. GOMEZ
Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson and Mayor Evelio Leonardia expect Negros Occidental and Bacolod City to remain under Modified General Community Quarantine after today.
Leonardia said he wrote to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to request that Bacolod City be allowed to remain under MGCQ after July 15 and it looks like his request will be granted.
He has received word from an insider at the IATF-EID that his request was approved but he will wait for an official announcement, Leonardia said.
Bacolod may not be ready for a lower quarantine category considering that the COVID-19 threat still remains, while going back to GCQ would hurt the economy, he said.
Aside from his letter to the IATF-EID, Leonardia said he texted a number of key personalities and appealed for the retention of the MGCQ.
“The reports of COVID-19 positive cases should all remind us that the crisis is still raging and that all health protocols should be strictly enforced,” Leonardia said, that is why Bacolod City has activated its Task Force Disiplina.
He said the use of face masks, social distancing, and curfew in Bacolod City are by virtue of ordinances already, so they have been institutionalized.
“We hope, and we intend to make it a culture in Bacolod,” he said.
On the increase in the number of health workers hit by the virus in the city, Leonardia said they are the ones who are most likely to get it because of the nature of their jobs.
President Rodrigo Duterte will make the announcement on the quarantine status of the country today because the IATF-EID has yet to come up with its final recommendations, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said yesterday.
Members of the IATF-EID will meet this afternoon on the possible retention of, or changes in the quarantine status in the country, he said.
So far, only Bacolod City has lodged an appeal, he said.
Roque said the classification of community quarantine beginning tomorrow would be based on the case doubling rate, and critical health care capacity.*