Published by the Visayan Daily Star
Editor-in-Chief & President
Bureau Chief, Dumaguete
MAJA P. DELY
|CARLOS ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA
The four-day time-out for the cities of Bacolod, Talisay, Silay, Bago and the municipality of Murcia starts today and residents are expected to stay home while approximately 10,000 COVID-19 tests will be conducted in the affected areas.
During the next four days, everyone will be required to stay home. Only those granted special exemptions can move around, and exit and enter the cities.
This time out is necessary in the light of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Negros Occidental which on Wednesday was ranked as the third top area in the country in terms of new cases. The mass testing will hopefully identify people and areas that need further monitoring as government officials strive to contain the outbreak.
With overwhelmed hospitals and quarantine facilities, and lack of health personnel and personal protective equipment; a more aggressive approach will be necessary and mass testing is key. The four day time-out will allow testing to be held while restricting movement. Expediency in releasing the test results will help government impose granulated lockdowns to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus which is necessary for a return to normalcy much needed by the struggling economy.
Even if some of us may think it is too little too late, or doubt the effectivity of such an action due to the lack of details being presented, our cooperation and discipline will still be critical in the next four days because it will allow government to do its best to conduct the tests, identify problem areas and chart out an appropriate response.
Let us extend our cooperation during this time-out as our local governments join hands to slow down and maybe even reverse the spread of COVID-19 on our shores.*