By Dolly Yasa
BACOLOD City – Negros Occidental Provincial Health Officer Dr. Ernell Tumimbang said the province will strengthen its border protocols in anticipation of thousands of visitors expected to attend the 2022 Bacolod MassKara Festival.
Tumimbang further said they are also finalizing protocols with different government agencies, such as the Bureau of Quarantine, Bureau of Immigration and Deportation, and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.
He also aired opposition to the scrapping of mandatory wearing of face masks, especially during the Masskara Festival next month.
“We should stick to the minimum health protocols,” Tumimbang said.
He said that the Bacolod City government and provincial government will collaborate on strengthening border controls.
Aside from the BREDCO and Banago Ports in Bacolod City, tourists may also enter the province through the ports of San Carlos and Escalante, and the Silay-Bacolod airport in Negros Occidental.
“We agreed to set up a composite team at the BREDCO Port,” Tumimbang said.
This is to monitor persons entering Bacolod City and Negros Occidental that may have a fever, he said.
Tumimbang said that they are also monitoring monkeypox cases abroad, as eventually, it will reach Asia as evidenced by a confirmed case in Iloilo.
“All this monitoring will be used as our basis and guide of what to do if a case is discovered in the province,” he added.