RIATF backs Bacolod's request to deescalate quarantine status

THE Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF) and the Regional Task Force jointly endorsed to the national IATF the request of Mayor Evelio Leonardia to deescalate the community quarantine status of Bacolod City from general community quarantine (GCQ) to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) effective December 1, 2020.

In its Resolution No. 82 approved on November 27, it stated the National Task Force Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2 Series of 2020 on Operational Guidelines on the Application of the Zoning Containment Strategy in the Localization of the National Action Plan against Covid-19 Responses intends to provide the national government and the local government units with guidelines to contain the spread of Covid-19, utilizing the Zoning Containment Strategy.

The resolution said the same MC was issued to guide local authorities in the transitioning of community quarantine measures to less or more stringent restrictions while continuously monitoring Covid-19 risk indicators and standardize the principles of community quarantine implementation among zones identified by LGUs.

Once it is made known to the LGU that the parameters of a certain geographical unit have been satisfied or met, the decision to impose a community quarantine with the concurrence of the IATF shall be made within 24 hours.

The resolution was signed by Christian Nagaynay, RIATF head secretariat, and Marlyn Convocar, vice-chair of Western Visayas IATF-EID Head Cluster and regional director of the Department of Health- Western Visayas.

It can be recalled that the Western Visayas RIATF through Resolution No. 55, recommended the extension on the implementation of GCQ in Bacolod in response to Bacolod City letter dated October 27, citing their previous appeal to the NIATF on Emerging Infectious Disease dated October 15, and requesting for the endorsement of the de-escalation of the LGU from GCQ to MGCQ by the Regional IATF.

Bacolod City issued again a letter dated November 26 addressed to Dr. Francisco Duque III, chairman of IATF-EID, appealing for de-escalation of the quarantine status from GCQ to MGCQ effective December 1.

In his letter to Duque, Leonardia said: “ We have met all the criteria for de-escalation with a further decline of cases of Covid-19 in Bacolod City during the last two weeks. As of November 24, there are 259 active Covid-19 cases out of 5,294 accumulated cases."

Leonardia said the total number of recoveries has reached 4,875 or 92.08 percent, which correlates to good management and treatment of Covid-19 cases.

Based on the LGU Risk Matrix, the two-week growth rate of Covid-19 cases is 24.6 percent, which is considered low, while the average daily attack rate is down to 2.96 percent from 5.32 percent two weeks ago.

“We have successfully implemented a Covid-19 surveillance testing in our three major public markets and slaughterhouse, barangay health emergency response team workers in the food industry and city government employees serving as frontliners. That yielded a positivity rate of 0.084 percent, with 47 confirmed cases out of 5,581 persons tested,” he said.

He added the surveillance testing is a continuing effort of the Bacolod City Emergency Operations Center, with scheduled testing from November 28 to 30, targeting the transport sector and food delivery service workers.

The mayor disclosed that as of November 26, 31 out of 61 barangays or 49.1 percent are Covid-free for the last 14 days, a "remarkable" decrease from 78 percent in October.


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