DUMAGUETE CITY – Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo on Wednesday issued a special advisory for Holy Week urging local government units (LGUs) and the public to pay attention to the restrictions particularly on mass gatherings in anticipation of an influx of people.
The special advisory came as the number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in the province started to climb anew after a few weeks of having slowed down from a spike since late last year.
Degamo, in anticipation of an “influx of revelers” particularly on Easter Sunday, reminded all local disaster risk reduction and management councils (DRRMCs), local Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EIDs) and the public of certain limitations.
He said hotels, restaurants, and resorts can only accommodate up to three fourth of their capacity, under the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) guidelines, with only immediate family members allowed to join gatherings.
Swimming is only allowed as a form of exercise and not for leisure unless these activities are at “tourism-accredited areas”, he said.
Degamo said while he “fully recognizes this long-standing tradition in order to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ”, the province, country, and the world are still hounded by the pandemic.
This current situation is just temporary and will soon come to pass, and the time will come when traditional celebrations of Holy Week will be restored to its fullest, he said, as he urged everyone to continue to adhere to the minimum health protocols.
Meanwhile, Assistant Provincial Health Officer Dr. Liland Estacion, ground commander of the provincial IATF, said in a virtual press briefing that 11 new Covid-19 cases and one death were reported on Wednesday.
The latest fatality related to Covid-19 is a seven-year-old-girl from nearby Sibulan town who suffered from cerebral palsy.
As of March 31, Negros Oriental has a total caseload of 1,950, broken down into 1,795 recoveries, 97 active positive cases, and 58 mortalities.
Last week, Estacion reported that the number of active cases had dropped to 56 from more than 200 daily active infections.
She attributed the new increase in cases during the past days to the influx of travelers entering the province. (PNA)