BY CARLA P. GOMEZ
Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia yesterday issued an executive order extending the Modified General Community Quarantine in Bacolod City until August 15 with more stringent measures to contain the spread of the deadly COVID-19.
The continuity of the MGCQ requires that Bacolodnons adopt some necessary lifestyle changes because the deadly disease is still a scourge to Bacolod City, and the whole world, the mayor said.
Executive Order No. 50 Series of 2020 bans the selling or buying of liquor until further notice, and the drinking of such in public places and open private areas without fences and enclosures.
Any violation of the liquor ban will be subject to prosecution and penalty, the mayor said.
Notwithstanding the existing curfew ordinance from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. and owning to the continuing concern to limit movement to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Leonardia said he is asking the Sangguniang Panlungsod to consider that curfew in the city be set from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. daily.
Exemptions will be made for public emergencies, fire and ambulance services, those working night shifts in private establishments, media practitioners, and city government and police officials and employees, he said.
Businessman Crispin Chua said a 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew would be a disaster for businesses in Bacolod. The business community even has a pending petition for curfew in the city to start at midnight instead of 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., he said.
There will also be Sunday closures of the three major markets in Bacolod City – the Central Market, Burgos North Market and the Libertad South Market from 12:01 a.m. to midnight for cleaning and disinfection in observance of health protocols and public safety, the mayor said.
The first closure will be on August 9 and every Sunday thereafter until further advice, he said.
The EO also states that localized lockdowns will be enforced when COVID-19 positive cases are detected to prevent the spread of the virus.
The mayor reiterated the need for home quarantine for vulnerable sectors to be observed.
Those strongly reminded to stay in their residences at all times to reduce the risk of getting infected or becoming carriers of COVID-19 are persons below 21 years old, those who are 60 years old and above, those with immunodeficiency, comorbidity, other health risks, pregnant women and whose who care for such persons, the mayor said.
The Bacolod City government may forge inter-LGU agreements to mutually institute integrated policies and common health protocols and safety mechanisms for the protection of their constituents, he said.
The EO also states that an oversight committee will be created to study the trends and updates of the underlying conditions during the extended MGCQ, and will recommend to the mayor measures to be undertaken, the EO said.
DUTERTE DENIES ECQ REQUEST
President Rodrigo Duterte yesterday said Negros Occidental and Oriental, and Bacolod City, will remain under MGCQ until August 15.
The request of two groups of doctors to place Bacolod under Enhanced Community Quarantine with the spike in COVID-19 local transmissions was denied.
16 NEW CASES
The Department of Health reported yesterday that 14 Negrenses and two Bacolodnons have tested positive for COVID-19.
The two Bacolod COVID-19 patients are domestic cases.
Of the 14 patients in Negros Occidental, 11 are locally stranded individuals and three are domestic cases.
Bago City and Moises Padilla have three cases each, Pulupandan – two, and Silay City, Himamaylan City, EB Magalona, Candoni, Isabela, and San Carlos City – one each, the DOH said.
The DOH also reported that one COVID-19 patient from Victorias City has recovered.
MANILA AND CEBU
Duterte also said Metro Manila will remain under the general community quarantine as well as other selected areas in the country.
Cebu City was also downgraded to GCQ starting today from modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).
The president said he hopes by December the country will be back to normal.
Bed capacities for hospitals treating COVID-19 cases will also be augmented, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said yesterday.
For government hospitals, bed allotments for COVID-19 cases will be increased from 30 to 50 percent. For private hospitals, the bed capacity will be adjusted from 20 to 30 percent, he added.*