The city government here has sought to impose stricter basic health protocols in its 61 barangays amid the increasing number of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases that led to selective lockdowns in several villages.
In a virtual meeting on Tuesday afternoon, Mayor Evelio Leonardia discussed with the village chiefs the ways they are handling the Covid-19 response in their respective communities.
“The barangay officials are indispensable in the fight against Covid-19. We need the grassroots reach and machinery of the barangays to get the message clearly to the people and require their compliance with mandatory health protocols,” he said.
Reports of the Bacolod City Police Office showed violations of health protocols such as the use of face mask and safe physical distancing in many barangays in the city.
Leonardia said to level up the city’s response, there should also be a tighter implementation of quarantine and testing protocols.
He added that barangay officials should closely coordinate with the City Health Office in carrying out contact-tracing procedures.
City Administrator Em Ang said the mayor has sought to coordinate the quarantine and testing protocols with the barangays after they received reports from some village chiefs themselves that there are residents who refuse to cooperate.
Incidents included the refusal of direct contacts of a positive case to undergo swabbing and also the refusal of some village chiefs to accept patients discharged from quarantine with negative swab results, but have not completed the 14-day mandatory quarantine in government facilities.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Bacolod has 152 confirmed Covid-19 cases, which already includes four deaths.
One of the cases is an employee of the General Services Office based at the old City Hall, which has been locked down indefinitely for further disinfection after more employees in the building also tested positive for Covid-19.
The respective neighborhoods of the infected employees have also been sealed off as part of the precautionary measures. (Nanette Guadalquiver NDB via PNA, photo by PNA)