By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Department of Health (DOH) in Western Visayas has classified the province of Negros Occidental as a “high-risk” area for COVID-19 infections.
Dr. Mary Jane Juanico, DOH-6 infectious disease cluster head, said the province’s daily attack rate had increased from 1.45 percent to 5.26 percent for every 100,000 population of the province.
The two-week growth rate in Negros Occidental had also increased to 261 percent.
Bacolod City, meanwhile, has been classified as a “moderate-risk” area wherein the attack rate had increased from 3.79 percent to 5.98 percent. The two-week COVID-19 growth rate, meanwhile, is at 58 percent.
Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson earlier this month requested the province to be placed under general community quarantine (GCQ).
However, the request was denied by the National Inter-Agency Task Force, with Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III explaining that the attack average in the province is only at two percent, far from the required average daily attack rate of seven percent.
Bacolod City, meanwhile, had not requested to be placed under GCQ, however, Bacolod Emergency Operations Center deputy for medical Dr. Chris Sorongon noted that hospital capacity utilization rate has reached 82 percent.
Because of this, Sorongon requested hospitals in the city to prepare more beds.
Moreover, Sorongon said they have adopted a “swab all” policy. All close contacts of COVID-19 patients – asymptomatic or not – shall undergo reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test./DGB, WDJ