Travel moratorium in LGUs with high COVID cases

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A two-week moratorium will be imposed for inbound travelers to local government units whose quarantine facilities are fully occupied, Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said yesterday.

However, LGUs whose quarantine facilities remain open for occupancy will be allowed to accept inbound travelers, the governor said.

Negros Occidental COVID-19 Update posted on the provincial government Facebook Page

          The moratorium was in response to the suggestion from Provincial Incident Management Team head Gerhart Zeaphard Caelian, who cited heavy congestion of Covid-19 patients and returning residents at some LGUs.

Caelian said that the travel suspension will give the authorized agencies more time to strategize in the containment of increasing local transmission of the coronavirus.

          While there are LGUs with triple-digit active cases of Covid-19, there are also towns and cities with low number of cases, Lacson said.

          Based on the report from the Department of Health – Western Visayas, Negros Occidental has 209 additional cases of COVID-19 and Bacolod City has 47 new cases.

          Lacson said getting the approval from the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force for another travel moratorium will be difficult since the previous request was already extended two weeks ago.

          The governor said the travel moratorium is one way of controlling the number of people coming in, Lacson said.

Caelian reported that the EB Magalona Healing Center is now being occupied by 179 Covid-19 patients, way beyond its capacity of 107.

The Mambukal Mountain Resort in Murcia, which has a capacity of 88, is now occupied by 62 patients. Caelian said the facility will be fully occupied soon as they are transporting more Covid-19 patients there.

On the other hand, the Silay City Healing Center, which can accommodate 206 returning residents, who underwent swab test upon arrival at the seaports and airport, is now fully occupied after 150 returning residents from Manila were brought there in addition to the 106 who were already occupying the facility, Caelian said.

Another quarantine facility in Silay is now occupied by 110 persons infected by the virus, he added.

          Meanwhile, Governor Lacson, in a radio interview over Aksyon Radyo, said the possibility of placing LGUs with worse Covid-19 situation under lockdown is something that they will have to discuss with the concerned LGUs.

“The problem here is economics,” he said, adding that the national government will no longer provide subsidy to the local government. — GB