BACOLOD City – Mayor Evelio Leonardia requested the National Inter-Agency Task Force (NIATF) to downgrade the community quarantine status of Bacolod City from general community quarantine (GCQ) to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
Leonardia wrote a letter dated October 15 to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, NIATF chairman, citing the continuous decline in the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the city in the past two weeks.
He cited the interventions made by the city under a centralized system of the emergency operations center (EOC).
As of October 15, 591 active cases and 4,491 accumulated cases were recorded here, the mayor said in his letter.
Leonardia said that recoveries have reached 3,937 or 85.29 percent, which correlates to good management and treatment of COVID-19 cases. He added that there were only five deaths this month, compared to the 64 deaths in September.
Leonardia cited that, based on the local government unit (LGU) risk matrix, the two-week growth rate of COVID cases in Bacolod was at -58 percent, which is considered low, while the average daily attack rate was down to 5.32 percent from 11 percent two weeks ago.
He also said that the city has initiated surveillance testing on 1,665 vendors of three major public markets here that showed 25 or 1.5 percent of them infected. An additional 334 market vendors were also tested early this week, and were still awaiting the results.
He also noted that the city has started to implement the Bacolod Contact Tracing System, wherein 212,319 residents and 5,128 establishments registered to the system introduced by the South Cotabato COVID Contact Tracing System.
He said that they were also continuously working to expand the healthcare capacities here, including providing additional beds and hiring of more health workers.
The healthcare capacity utilization in all tertiary private and government hospitals here was only at 64 percent, less than half of which was from Bacolod, while the rest were COVID patients from different LGUs in Negros Occidental, the local chief executive said.
Leonardia said that with such measures in place, they were confident that the city was ready for the transition to MGCQ effective October 16.
He noted that there was a significant indication of a continuous reduction of additional cases in the city.
He said the city must reopen the local economy after an extended lull so that the city can get back on track to a rapid growth.