Bacolod City – The request for another travel moratorium for passengers from the National Capital Region and provinces adjacent to Negros Occidental is now being mulled, with local quarantine facilities already in critical stages.
Provincial Incident Management Team head Zeaphard Gerhart Caelian said yesterday that he will ask Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson to request for another travel moratorium, in order to concentrate and contain the increasing local transmission cases.
Travel moratorium from Manila to Western Visayas was imposed from April 4 to 10, and extended from April 13 to 19.
The move of Caelian for another travel moratorium was supported by Mayor Salvador Escalante, who said yesterday that more than 500 individuals are now occupying the quarantine facilities in Cadiz City.
Caelian said the EB Magalona Healing Center is now occupied by 179 Covid-19 positive patients, that is already beyond its capacity of 107 beds.
The Mambukal Mountain Resort in Murcia, that has an 88-bed capacity, is now filled with 62 infected persons. But Caelian said he is expecting it to be fully occupied soon, as they are transporting more Covid-19 patients for isolation there.
Meanwhile, the Silay City Healing Center, that can accommodate 206 returning residents, who have been swabbed upon arrival at the seaports and airport of Negros Occidental, is now being occupied by 106 individuals, on top of the 150 brought in Wednesday night by the St. Therese of the Child Jesus passenger vessel from Manila, Caelian said.
The Silay quarantine facility for individuals who tested positive for Covid-19 is already filled up by 110 persons, he added.
Since the EB Magalona Healing Center is now overwhelmed, Escalante said they have already dispatched those with mild symptoms and the asymptomatic patients to the St. Andrews Healing Center in Cadiz City, that has been earmarked for Persons Under Monitoring.
The problem, he added, is that people manning the isolation facility have not been trained to attend to Covid-19 positive patients, only to PUMs.
Of the 15 personnel deployed in the healing center, who render duty for 15 days a month, five of them also tested positive. After they reported to the City Health Office, four other CHO personnel were infected, too, Escalante said.
He also said that 50 of the 71 persons positive for Covid, as of May 5, were locally stranded individuals, who infected 20 others.
Asked how the city government of Cadiz is coping with the pandemic, Escalante said that they have savings, from realigned budgets for travel, seminars, and for the Dinagsa Festival, that can be spent for Covid-19 patients. Caelian encouraged all local government units to reopen their quarantine facilities and to exercise containment strategies for clustering of cases.
(Gilbert Bayoran via The Visayan Daily Star (TVDS), photo courtesy of TVDS)