The Western Visayas Regional Inter-Agency Task Force has concurred with the request for a four-day travel moratorium for locally stranded individuals and overseas Filipinos returning to Negros Occidental and Bacolod City, while a four-day lockdown is held for COVID-19 mass testing from Saturday to Monday.
The COVID-19 tests on 10,000 people will be conducted in Bacolod, Silay, Talisay and Bago cities and Murcia town.
A source said the National Inter-Agency Task Force has relayed its verbal approval to the lockdown but has yet to release an official document on its stand.
Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson yesterday confirmed that Negros Occidental is now number two in the country in terms of new COVID-19 cases with the National Capital Region in first place, Board Member Ryan Gamboa said.
Gamboa said a virtual meeting was held yesterday, participated in by Lacson and provincial department heads, officials and representatives of the five local government units, molecular laboratories, including Dr. Julius Drilon, and the private sector, to discuss the implementation of the “timeout weekend.”
All five LGUs are planning on imposing renewed border controls during the timeout period, Gamboa said.
The representatives of the Philippine Red Cross and Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital expressed concern regarding PhilHealth’s reimbursement for the COVID-19 tests, citing unpaid existing accounts.
The Doctors Hospital and Queen of Mercy Hospital representatives also said they would seek PhilHealth clarification on the requirements and procedures on reimbursement for the COVID tests.
The Provincial Health Office reported that it has 33 personnel and the Bacolod City Health Office has 18, for a total of 51 swab technicians to conduct swabbing operations for COVID-19 tests, Gamboa said.
The Silay City Sangguniang Panlungsod passed a resolution allowing Bacolod City to use the Silay City Healing Center facility to accommodate the persons to be swabbed during Operation Timeout from August 28-September 14.
Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia has assigned City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan as the incident commander for the Incident Management Team of Bacolod as counterpart to Dr. Zeaphard Caelian, the incident commander of the Provincial IMT.
The Department of Health yesterday reported that Negros Occidental had 28 new COVID-19 positive cases and Bacolod City had 15.*
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