By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Lacson signs EO declaring four Negros Occidental areas under ‘granular lockdown’
Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson has signed Executive Order No. 20-42 yesterday afternoon, placing four local government units (LGUs) in the province under “granular lockdown” as part of the four-day “timeout weekend.”
In a press conference, Lacson identified the four areas as Murcia, and the cities of Bago, Talisay, and Silay.
The lockdown will be on August 30 to 31. Lacson clarified that there will be no province-wide lockdown, except for the four LGUs he stated in his order.
During the period, the provincial government will conduct mass testing of at least 5,000 individuals from the four LGUs, while the remaining 5,000 will come from Bacolod City, which also issued their own executive order which would cover from August 28 to 29.
Lacson said during the testing, those who would be tested positive for Covid-19 will be transported to the quarantine facilities designated by both the provincial government and the Bacolod City government.
Those who are also positive for the virus but have fallen seriously ill will be sent to the hospital for treatment.
He further added there won’t be a problem even if they don’t hit the targeted test of 10,000 individuals, pointing out the most important objective of the mass testing is to help the LGUs identify who must undergo swab tests.
The governor also stated public transportation will continue with their normal operations, although he discouraged outside residents of Bacolod City from traveling as they would have a hard time entering the local LGUs.
Earlier, former Negros Occidental 3rd District congressman and now provincial government consultant Alfredo Benitez said the “timeout weekend” would give way to the mass testing of 10,000 symptomatic individuals for Covid-19 in the five LGUs.
He revealed that the regional task force already prepared a resolution for the “timeout” and that the national task force has also the assurance with the arrival of Environment secretary Roy Cimatu, Secretary Carlito Galvez and Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Secretary Mike Diño.
According to Benitez, Diño offered a laboratory in Cebu if needed for the mass testing and he has already talked to Senator Richard Gordon for the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. coverage of the Red Cross Lab.
“So far we are almost assured of the capacity to hit the 10,000 target for mass testing,” Benitez said.
He also revealed the budgetary requirement of P35 million for the timeout weekend./DGB, WDJ