Bacolod City – The Inter Agency Task Force has denied the request of the provincial government of Negros Occidental to be placed under the General Community Quarantine status.
Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said it is because “COVID-19 infection rate has not reached the required level for such classification, despite endorsement of the Regional IATF.
While the infection rate in the past two weeks is 107 percent, it should be 200 percent to qualify for GCQ, Lacson said, citing his phone conversation Monday with RIATF chief Juan Jovian Ingeniero.
As of April 12, Negros Occidental has 1,933 COVID-19 active cases, including the 456 active cases in Bacolod City.
“My point is, why wait for 200 percent? Why not take drastic measures or stricter quarantine to try to address the problem? Why wait to reach that level,” Lacson asked.
Lacson, who noted triple digits in the spike of COVID-19 cases in the past five days, said it appears that “IATF do not allow us to be pro-active”.
Officially, it was denied because it was not necessary, according to IATF, Lacson said, based on the statements of Ingeniero.
Asked if he will file a motion for reconsideration on IATF decision, Lacson said he will not, as he anticipates that it will have the same result.
Despite the denial, he said that they will be even stricter, especially in leisure travel, as they are contemplating to close resorts in Negros Occidental for two weeks.
Lacson admitted that Negros Occidental, which remains under MGCQ until April 30 as declared by Malacañang, is not safe as of this time. (Dolly Yasa via The Daily Guardian (TDG), photo courtesy of TDG)