Bacolod City Council seeks ECQ extension

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – The Sangguniang Panlungsod here unanimously approved Tuesday a resolution asking the National Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (NIATFMEID) to allow the city government to extend the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) to May 15, 2020.

Bacolod City and Negros Occidental were not among the cities and provinces where the ECQ will be extended to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

This means that the city and province will slide back to General Community Quarantine (GCQ) where some activities will be allowed subject to minimum safety protocols such as physical distancing and wearing of face masks.

In the resolution, the City Council said the number of COVID-19 patients in the city rose to nine with two deaths since March 27.

At least 150 Bacolod residents underwent swab testing for COVID-19, the results of which are forthcoming.

This “presents a situation of uncertainty regarding possible COVID-19 positive Bacolod residents which will thus require immediate and extraordinary if not abnormal approaches for cure and control including prevention of further infections.”

The resolution also said that there are hundreds of Bacolod residents, including Overseas Filipino  Workers (OFWs) and non-OFWs who are returning to the city beginning Tuesday who will have to undergo the mandatory quarantine for at least 14 days in various quarantine centers.

“There being no known cure yet for COVID-19 the best and most effective approach to combat of the same is prevention,” the resolution added.

The resolution also said that Bacolod City serves as the center of businesses and leisure in the province of Negros Occidental and even in the island of Negros “and the lifting of the ECQ will predictably cause a sudden influx of people in the city of Bacolod whose number and movements may become already beyond control.”