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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Bacolod Eyes ‘Fortified’ ECQ In Drafting Exit Plan

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Mayor Evelio Leonardia has formed the Bacolod City Exit Planning Team to determine how the city will move forward after the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) ends on April 30.

The body is chaired by Councilor Archie Baribar with executive assistant George Zulueta as vice chairman.

“They are assigned to evaluate, study and make recommendations on what we will do after the ECQ,” Leonardia said in a video message on Friday.

In Bacolod, a month-long ECQ, which started on March 30, is enforced as a precautionary measure against the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

The mayor said the city government is “trying to reconcile and synchronize as much as possible” its actions with the steps taken by the national government.

Leonardia said that the major factors to be considered include health, business, budget, legal, among others.

“If you ask me, the most important among these factors is the health consideration. There is no better argument than saying that life should be our number one priority and that we should protect and defend the people’s lives,” he added.

The mayor said that for now, the city government will not declare what it wants to happen next after President Rodrigo Duterte extended the ECQ in National Capital Region and areas considered as “high-risk” for Covid-19 until May 15.

The exit planning team still has to hold a series of meetings and evaluations, he added.

“We would like to make a unanimous stand on what should we be doing after April 30. This will all depend on the inputs, study, and evaluation of the exit planning team,” Leonardia said.

He said the city officials will not make a decision that will bring Bacolod back to square one.

“We would like to protect our gains. All of these we are doing for Bacolod is precisely for the purpose that we want to protect the city and we want to protect our people,” the mayor added.

Meanwhile, Baribar said that in coming up with an exit plan, he would prefer that the city will have a “fortified” ECQ rather than a “modified” one.

“We should fortify it. We should strengthen our defensive lines because this is the only way that we can survive together,” he added.

Baribar said there will be changes that will strengthen, not lose the gains of Bacolod in its battle against Covid-19.

As of Friday last week, Bacolod still has eight positive cases, two of whom had died. Five patients are on home quarantine while one is still confined in a hospital.

The city also has 100 probable cases, 34 of whom had been discharged while 20 are currently confined.

A total of 27 are in home-care. Of the 100 probable patients, 19 have died. Of the 19, two tested positive and are among the eight confirmed cases. Six were found negative while 11 have pending results. (Nanette Guadalquiver ndb via pna)

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