By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
To ensure that Negros Occidental will sustain its current gains in the fight against coronavirus, the Provincial Incident Management Team (PIMT) recommended to Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson to extend the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) status of the province.
Provincial administrator Rayfrando Diaz said the decision to maintain the MGCQ status of the province was made during their meeting last week.
“We will still declare the province as restricted or closed. You could go here but only for essential travel. We want to monitor all entries of people into the province. We need to require people coming in through the airports and seaports to undergo swab tests so we could have baseline data to guide us in all our policy decisions. We don’t want to be blinded,” Diaz said.
He added that this is aimed to protect the province.
“We want to create a bubble. Those inside the province will be safe. We don’t want that to be infected by those coming from outside that will trigger another epidemic wave,” he pointed out.
If the governor agrees, this will be contained in the executive order he will issue at the end of the month.
We should not let our guards down or relax versus our unseen enemy, the provincial administrator said.
Lacson, through an executive order issued early this month, extended the MGCQ status of the province from October 1 to 31, 2020.
The National Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (NIATF-MEID) also classified the province as a low-risk administrative province.
Asked if how will the extended MGCQ affect the intention of many tourism establishments in Negros Occidental to open, Diaz said the provincial government encourage local tourism.
“We should be the ones to patronize our local businesses, tourist spots and restaurants,” he said.
Diaz said that they will screen inter-province and inter-region guests./DGB, WDJ