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NegOcc eyeing negative RT-PCR anew

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

The provincial government of Negros Occidental is now entertaining the possibility of requiring negative RT-PCR test results from those coming from Panay, following a confirmation from the Department of Health of two cases of the highly-contagious Covid-19 Delta variant in Antique province.

Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said yesterday he wants to know the real situation in Antique, as he is also wondering why it only surfaced now, with one of the infected persons already dead and the other already recovered.

Antique Governor Rhodora Cadiao said the discovery of the Delta variant cases is “water under the bridge” because it is already old and it should not cause unnecessary fear among Antiqueños. She, however, lamented, that the result was only released after almost two months.

“If the situation calls for it, we might require again RT-PCR testing before entry to Negros Occidental, even those coming from Panay,” Lacson said.

At present, the provincial government of Negros Occidental is accepting Covid-19 vaccination cards as sufficient alternative to any testing requirement for the entry of fully-inoculated interzonal travelers to the province.

NO LEISURE TRAVEL

Mayor Evelio Leonardia issued an executive order on July 18, banning leisure travel between Bacolod City and Panay island.

Leonardia also said EO 39 series of 2021 that he had issued earlier, allows fully vaccinated Bacolod residents to present their vaccination cards issued by the Bacolod Emergency Operation Center more than 14 days before arrival at the Bacolod-Silay Airport in place of a negative RT-PCR test result was rendered inoperative until reinstated.

Lacson said that they will observe closely the presence of Delta variant in Region 6.

“If the Delta variant appears in Negros in the same manner as it appeared in India and Indonesia, we will never be ready,” he said.

Lacson said that strictly observing the minimum health protocols is a must.

“We will also roll out as fast as we can the vaccines we will receive,” Lacson said, adding that “Health experts tell us that vaccines will help in the fight against Covid-19.”

The province of Negros Occidental received yesterday 14,000 vials of Johnson and Johnson’s Janssen vaccine, and an additional 290 vials of AstraZeneca vaccine.

A vial of Janssen is equivalent to five doses, and 10 doses for every vial of AstraZeneca.

Lacson said he was disappointed that the province has only received less than 1,000 of the 100,000 doses of AstraZeneca it had purchased, as of this time.

He also announced that they will not follow the Inter-Agency Task Force resolution allowing children 5 years old and up to go out in public, as long as they are accompanied by their parents or adults.

The Covid-19 risk classification of Negros Occidental remains low, and moderate for Bacolod City, in the past 14 days, Dr. Marie Jocelyn Te of the DOH–Western Visayas Center for Health Development, said yesterday.

The Negros Occidental Provincial Incident Management Team reported that, as of yesterday, the province logged 1,621 active cases, 515 deaths, and 18,546 recoveries.*

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