BACOLOD CITY - The movement of people in the city was restricted for four days beginning Friday, August 28, to pave way for mass testing aiming to swab 5,000 identified high-risk individuals and close contacts of COVID-19 patients.
All three major public markets in the city are closed as vendors are among those considered as high-risk and who are set for swabbing.
Majority of establishments have closed shop and only essential businesses exempt under Executive Order No. 55 are operating.
Checkpoints have been established in strategic locations in the city to ensure that those outside are only essential workers.
Bacolod Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) chair Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran said the movement of people was restricted so that the city government could carry out successfully all activities that aim to contain further spread of the virus.
He said they were able to initially test 1,004 people, including government employees and BPO workers. Those who were swabbed must observe 14-day home quarantine or until their test results are out.
Meanwhile, the vice mayor urged all barangay officials to have themselves tested immediately at the onset of COVID-19 symptoms.
This, after another punong barangay was rushed to the hospital and had to be intubated due to difficulty breathing.
Liga ng mga Barangay Chair, Councilor Lady Gles Pallen, confirmed that Barangay 2 Chair Emelda Banguanga has tested positive for COVID-19.
Pallen said Banguanga’s test result came out Thursday. She is the fourth punong barangay in the city to test positive for the virus.
The said village chief is confined at the same hospital where Singcang-Airport Punong Barangay Rosinie Distrito is also undergoing treatment. Distrito and his wife are both positive for COVID-19.
Like Banguanga, Distrito is intubated and is dependent on a ventilator, according to his brother, former Councilor Caesar Distrito.
The families of the barangay officials who are sick continue to ask for prayers for the fast recovery of their relatives exposed to COVID-19 patients as frontliners in the fight against the deadly disease.
On Thursday, Mayor Evelio Leonardia and other local officials briefed the team led by Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu on the COVID-19 situation in the city, including the number of cases per barangay, status of operation centers, the implementation of lockdowns and molecular laboratory operations.
Also highlighted in the meeting was the lack of manpower in hospitals as one of the main problems the city is facing now.
As of Thursday, based on DOH Western Visayas’ latest bulletin, Bacolod has 75 new confirmed cases, bringing the number of recorded active cases to 458. According to the Bacolod City Health Office, 51 cases are for verification while 204 are patients who have already recovered.