BACOLOD CITY – Residents of Negros Occidental were reminded to take extra precautions when going to tourist areas during the holiday break this Holy Week.
Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said on Tuesday that he will not discourage Negrenses from visiting places because the provincial government itself is promoting local tourism, but those going out have to be cautious and follow minimum health protocols.
“I think they just have to be extra careful, avoid crowded places. What we’re trying to do here is to avoid a drastic increase in positive individuals,” he added.
He said what the province also wants to avoid are tourists coming from Metro Manila and Cebu, which is reflected in his request waiting approval from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to impose a travel moratorium for all land, air, and sea travels to Negros Occidental for two weeks.
Lacson added that the latest joint Western Visayas Regional Task Force and Regional Inter-Agency Task Force advisory based on the IATF Resolution 104 “somehow addresses our letter-request”.
According to the advisory, only essential travelers from National Capital Region and its travel bubble circuit that includes Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal area, will be allowed to travel into and outside of Western Visayas from March 23 to April 4.
“It also tells us we have the same idea on how to control the spike of Covid-19 positive individuals,” the governor said, adding that he expects lesser trips and lesser people coming to the province because only essential individuals will be allowed to travel.
On March 21, Lacson sent a communication to Health Secretary Francisco and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles, IATF chairperson and co-chairperson, respectively, requesting for a travel moratorium after coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in the province started to go up again in the past week.
Lacson told the two officials that the introduction of the uniform travel protocols on March 15, based on IATF Resolution 101, has resulted in an increased number of Covid-19 cases in Negros Occidental.
As of March 22, Negros Occidental logged 263 active cases out of the 7,101 confirmed cases. Total recoveries reached 6,703 while 218 deaths were recorded. (PNA)