By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson yesterday called for an emergency meeting with the province’s city and town mayors in order to discuss plans on how to deal with the spike in COVID-19 cases.
Cadiz City Mayor Salvador Escalante Jr. said during the meeting Lacson and the mayors have agreed to pass a resolution urging the National Inter-Agency Task Force (NIATF) to place the province under the stricter general community quarantine (GCQ) for a period of two weeks.
The decision however will be up to the NIATF to approve.
Once approved, it is possible that movement within the province will again be limited and some of the cities may even close their borders to travelers.
The mayors have also proposed and agreed on a unified curfew protocol during the GCQ period starting from 8:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m.
For his part, Lacson also confirmed that the province is now experiencing a “second wave” in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic due to rapid local transmission.
On April 7 alone, the province recorded a staggering 86 new local cases, whereas only three were tagged as locally stranded individuals.
Lacson said it is currently difficult for them to control the local transmission, but nonetheless he reminded the local government units (LGUs) to be vigilant and further strengthen their contact tracing efforts.
The governor also proposed to the mayors to adopt “granular lockdowns” in areas where there is a rapid spread of new COVID-19 cases.
The LGUs have also been given the authority to make the decision best suited for protecting the local populace.
As of April 8, the province currently has a total of 742 active COVID-19 cases, according to the Provincial Incident Management Team data./DGB, WDJ