BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson has requested the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF- EID) to allow a two-week travel moratorium on all land, air, and sea travel into the province amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases.
“I believe that this is imperative in order to protect our constituents, our local economy, and our future as a province,” Lacson said in a letter addressed to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and Cabinet Secretary Carlo Nograles, co-chairpersons of the IATF-EID.
Lacson said he would like to prevent the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 within the province that was clearly brought by locally stranded individuals, authorized persons outside residence, and returning overseas Filipinos.
“If I stand idly, I fear that our gains in the past year will be put to waste to the detriment of our people,” he said.
The IATF-EID’s omnibus guidelines on the implementation of community quarantine state that inter-zonal movement of persons will be allowed as long as they will be subject to reasonable regulation imposed by the local government concerned.
Lacson said the provincial government has adopted IATF-EID Resolution 101 requiring the uniform implementation of travel protocols.
Under Resolution 101, the provincial government can no longer conduct swab tests on incoming passengers and quarantine them until their negative results are released. They can only be tested prior to arrival in the province.
The introduction of uniform travel protocols required under Resolution 101 has resulted in increasing COVID-19 cases in many local governments in Negros Occidental — specifically in Victorias City, Manapla, Cadiz City, Sagay City, Escalante City, Calatrava, San Carlos City, and Sipalay City.
Lacson said the Teresita L. Jalandoni Provincial Hospital molecular laboratory showed an alarming rise in COVID -19 cases.
The provincial quarantine facility for those with mild symptoms of the virus is also nearing maximum capacity, Lacson said.
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