Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia once again requested for additional coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19, vaccines from the national government as the number of local cases in the city is still alarming.
“In behalf of our people therefore, I most respectfully and earnestly request that we be given additional vaccines in order to be able to accelerate the pace of vaccinations and to move through the priority groups more quickly,” read part of Leonardia’s letter to Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer and vaccine czar of the National Task Force Against COVID-19.
He emphasized that the city government is doing its best to contain the spread of the virus. Despite this, Bacolod is still “experiencing an alarmingly persistent surge of COVID-19 cases,” the mayor stressed.
Bacolod had closed the month of June with the highest number of cases since the start of the pandemic.
“Hospitalizations have hit record levels, and although we have recently added additional rooms and beds, our temporary treatment and monitoring facilities (TTMF) are reaching full capacity,” the mayor said.
He added that hospitals in the city are reporting staff shortages and “precipitous” declines in finances due to non-payment of PhilHealth claims.
Leonardia also acknowledged the struggle of healthcare workers who are already exhausted “to the point of breaking” due to the influx of patients since the start of the pandemic.
“In response to the surge, we are consistently implementing and strengthening the PDITR strategy, expanded COVID-19 testing, intensified contact tracing, limited large gatherings, and regulated inbound travel,” the mayor said.
Leonardia added that Bacolod is coordinating with the RIATF and NIATF, as well as local health facilities and medical societies.
“Although we have already started COVID-19 vaccinations last March 5, 2021, we have only so far fully vaccinated 11,047 persons and partially vaccinated 53,466, out of our population of 624,987, owing to the limited supply of vaccines arriving in our city,” the mayor lamented.
According to the mayor, vaccination is a “crucial strategy in ending this pandemic,” that is why additional doses would be of great help to improve the COVID-19 situation in Bacolod.
“Bacolod City was recently included as one of the NCR Plus 10 priority areas for vaccination, however, the only vaccine we have received after the announcement was a mere 7,800 doses received last June 30, 2021. We have not received any additional vaccines thereafter. We believe that if we ramp up vaccinations, we will be able to significantly reduce Covid-19 deaths and hospitalizations,” the mayor stressed.
“It is our goal to vaccinate every Filipino. For this reason, the national government has procured or secured the supply of enough COVID-19 vaccines to inoculate one hundred percent of our adult population,” Galvez previously said.
He had further assured that Bacolod will be given enough doses to inoculate 100 percent of the city’s adult population and such shall be delivered “in accordance with the relevant existing laws, rules, and regulations.”
Meanwhile, Bacolod received another shipment of 10,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines yesterday.
In June, the city received a total of 39,800 Sinovac doses from the national government.
Since March 2021 up to today, Bacolod has received a total of 93,540 combined doses of Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines from the national government.
As of July 2, the COVID-19 Vaccination Council has administered a total of 68,954 doses, both Sinovac and AstraZeneca, to Bacolod residents./WDJ