By Glazyl Masculino
BACOLOD CITY – The City Council here unanimously approved during their special session on Tuesday, a resolution urgently and earnestly appealing to the National Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on the Emerging Infectious Diseases to allow Bacolod City government to extend the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) until May 15.
Based on a resolution authored by Councilor Renecito Novero, Mayor Evelio Leonardia issued Executive Order (EO) No. 26, placing the city under ECQ effective March 30 to April 14, and consequently extended this to April 30 through EO No. 29 due the alarming rise of confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in many parts of the country, including Bacolod.
While there were only two positive patients in the city at the time the E.O. was issued on March 27, this number has, since then, increased to nine with two deaths, Novero said in the resolution.
The resolution stated that there were at least 150 Bacolod residents who have undergone swab test for COVID-19, the results of which are still forthcoming. He said this presents a situation of uncertainty as to how many among them could test positive, thus, requiring immediate and extraordinary approaches for cure and control, including prevention of further infections.
Novero also cited in the resolution that there were hundreds of Bacolod residents, both overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and non-OFWs who will be returning to the city beginning April 28, needing to undergo the mandatory quarantine for a period of at least 14 days in the various quarantine centers in Bacolod.
In addition to these Bacolod residents returnees, there were Bacolod residents, who may have had direct contact with COVID-19 positive patients, and may need to be placed under quarantine to secure the life and health of their families and neighbors.
Novero also noted that were already cases of local transmission in Barangays Banago and Villamonte, which are densely populated and would have to be contained.
There being no known cure yet for COVID-19, the best and most effective approach to combat the same was prevention, Novero said in the resolution.
The resolution also pointed out that other cities, like Iloilo, which may have only seven confirmed cases but was permitted to extend ECQ until May 15.
“The city of Bacolod is doing its utmost to prevent the further contagion of COVID-19 among Bacolod residents,” Novero said.
Bacolod City serves as the center of business and leisure in the province of Negros Occidental and even the island of Negros and the lifting of ECQ will predictably cause a sudden influx of people in the city whose number and movements may become already beyond control, as stated in the resolution.
According to Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, they sent a copy of the said resolution to the national IATF and to President Rodrigo Duterte to consider and study their recommendations for the said extension.