Bacolod City – Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson again called on local government units (LGUs) in the province to step up their COVID-19 vaccination efforts.
Lacson said the number of vaccinated Negrenses, especially those belonging to the senior citizen category, is still low.
He said it is pointless for them to buy or acquire new doses of COVID-19 vaccines as they have enough supply stored at their cold storage facility.
Data released by the Department of Health (DOH) in Western Visayas revealed that as of May 15, only 134,859 of the 269,602 senior citizens in Negros Occidental are fully vaccinated and another 19,474 have received their booster shots.
Meanwhile, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Ernell Tumimbang proposed a 4-day province-wide vaccination activity that aims to increase the number of inoculated individuals in Negros Occidental.
Tumimbang said health experts warned of an uptick in COVID-19 cases in the country to as high as 500 cases per day in areas with low vaccination coverage.
Tumimbang said the existence of Omicron subvariant in Iloilo is a “cause of concern” due to its proximity to Negros Occidental, which already opened its borders, with less restrictions to incoming travelers.
“While we cannot close our borders, he stressed the need to closely monitor those entering the province from Iloilo, especially those arriving at Bacolod City ports,” he said.
The idea of having simultaneous province-wide vaccination activities was discussed by Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz and Tumimbang.
Negros Occidental remains under Alert Level 2, with the exception of Bacolod City, EB Magalona, Pulupandan, San Enrique, Candoni, cities of Sagay, Victorias and La Carlota, which have been placed under Alert Level 1.
Tumimbang also stressed the need to lower the alert level of other LGUs so that the whole Negros Occidental can be placed under Alert Level 1.
The COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over, Tumimbang pointed out, noting that the people have already been complacent due to dwindling of cases in the past few weeks.
The proposed four-day successive province wide vaccination will cater those who have yet to be vaccinated, as well as those to receive second doses and booster shots, he said. (Dolly Yasa via The Daily Guardian (TDG), photo courtesy of TDG)