Doctors in Negros Occidental and Bacolod City are dismayed that the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has not placed the province and the city under a stricter quarantine status due to the “alarming” surge of coronavirus cases.
The Philippine College of Physicians – Negros Occidental Chapter, in a statement on Tuesday, June 15, said it was “saddened by the decision of the NIATF (IATF) with regards to the quarantine status assigned to us, while our neighboring provinces are in stricter status. Basing it from number of cases alone, we are tagged as high risk and we even surpassed Metro Manila cases. The numbers are exponentially increasing day by day and this is beyond alarming.”
Negros Occidental and Bacolod City remained under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) while neighboring Iloilo City, Iloilo province, and Negros Oriental were placed under the more stringent Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ).
“We just wanted to have a Time Out (MECQ), this means limitation of movement of the community for at least two weeks to halt the transmission of the virus from one household to another. In effect, this will decongest the hospitals and facilities. Now it seems that we are left unarmed but we still continue to call and appeal to all Bacolenos and Negrenses,” the medical community said.
They emphasized the medical profession remains one of the most resilient arms in society and “to hear everyone cries for help it means this is serious.”
“Despite the alarms raised by the medical community, bars, coffee shops, and the like are still open without regard for personal and the community’s safety,” the group stressed.
They added, “We have been heard but we wanted to be listened to. COVID is still here and this is our main enemy.”
They reiterated their call to the residents to cooperate and “follow the rules implemented – avoid social gatherings, early voluntary isolation if you feel sick and limit movement to essential errands only – to stop the spread of this deadly virus” as the “war is still far from over.”
As of June 15, Bacolod has 1,920 active cases while Negros Occidental has 1,794 active cases.
Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson earlier requested the NIATF to place the province under a higher quarantine status but it was denied, while Bacolod officials did not request for the more stringent MECQ. – Rappler.com