Bacolod on alert as COVID-19 cases surge: mayor
Bacolod City in Negros Occidental is on alert and tightening restrictions due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, its mayor said on Monday.
The city was tallying only 2 new cases daily in February and infections increased around the end of March, said Bacolod Mayor Mayor Evelio Leonardia.
Bacolod has logged 10,643 COVID-19 cases, of which 1,042 are active as of June 6, according to the health department's online tracker.
"We are on alert, with the cases rising. Our story of COVID has been some kind of rollercoaster ride... We are very alarmed, and on our own we are trying to make arrangements," said Leonardia, who is also president of League of Cities of the Philippines.
Complacency, social gatherings, and the movement of people might have spurred coronavirus infections, he said.
Bacolod is under the loosest lockdown level, modified general community quarantine or MGCQ.
But local authorities asked religious and business leaders to limit services to 30 percent of a venue's capacity to arrest the spread of infections, Leonardia said.
The city also imposed a curfew and a ban on public drinking sprees, its mayor said.
Bacolod is home to around 624,000 residents. It is the "center of trade and industry" of Negros Occidental that has 2.4 million residents, said Leonardia.