BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Travelers, who are fully vaccinated, may soon be allowed entry to Negros Occidental without being required to submit negative RT-PCR test results.
This is in compliance with the new protocols issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, under Resolution 124-5, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said, adding that he will issue an executive order on this.
“I think this is one way of encouraging individuals to have themselves vaccinated,” Lacson said.
With this policy, it will be more comfortable for fully vaccinated individuals to travel, he added.
At present, travelers from Negros Oriental are barred from entering Negros Occidental, while returning Negrenses are being requested to undergo RT-PCR testing upon arrival at the various seaports of Negros Occidental and at the Bacolod-Silay Airport.
VACCINATION CARD ONLY
The IATF-EID said that fully vaccinated individuals need not present swab test results if they want to travel within the country, as they only need to present their vaccination card for interzonal and intrazonal travels.
Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said yesterday that the provincial government of Negros Occidental will create a QR code system to protect the integrity of the vaccination records of fully inoculated individuals.
As of July 2, a total of 19,177 Negrenses have been fully vaccinated, while 82,376 others had their first shots.
“I hope unscrupulous people will stop coming up with fake vaccination cards,” Lacson said, noting previous reports of fake negative RT-PCR test results being sold in ports in Manila, to travelers bound for the Visayas.
“A fully vaccinated individual is someone who has more than or equal to two weeks after having received the second dose in a two-dose vaccine, or more than or equal to two weeks after having received a single-dose vaccine,” Roque, also spokesperson of the IATF-EID, said.
The Department of Health–Western Visayas Center for Health Development said yesterday that Negros Occidental and the highly-urbanized Bacolod City have remained under the low and moderate categories, respectively, in the Covid-19 risk classification.
It also reported that the number of Covid cases in Western Visayas had shown a slow decline in the past days.*