Amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases, the Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson requested the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF- EID) to allow a two-week travel moratorium on all land, air, and sea travel into the province.
“I believe that this is imperative to protect our constituents, our local economy, and our future as a province,” Lacson said in a letter addressed to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and Cabinet Secretary Carlo Nograles, co-chairpersons of the IATF-EID.
The request was made to prevent the uncontrolled spread of the virus within the province that was brought by locally stranded individuals, authorized persons outside the residence, and returning overseas Filipinos, Lacson said.
“If I stand idly, I fear that our gains in the past year will be put to waste to the detriment of our people,” he said.
The inter-zonal movement of persons will be allowed as long as they will be subject to reasonable regulation imposed by the local government concerned, this is according to the IATF-EID’s omnibus guidelines on the implementation of community quarantine.
Earlier the Provincial government has adopted the newly uniform implementation of travel protocols under the IATF-EID Resolution 101. The new protocol includes that the provincial government can no longer conduct swab tests on incoming travelers and quarantine them until their negative results are released. They can only be tested upon arrival in the province.
Due to this, it resulted in an increase of COVID-19 cases in many local governments in Negros Occidental — specifically in Victorias City, Manapla, Cadiz City, Sagay City, Escalante City, Calatrava, San Carlos City, and Sipalay City.
The Teresita L. Jalandoni Provincial Hospital molecular laboratory showed an alarming rise in COVID -19 cases, Lacson said.
The Provincial quarantine facility for those with mild symptoms of the virus is also nearing maximum capacity, he added.