BACOLOD

Travel ban extension sought in Western Visayas

NEGROS OCCIDENTAL. Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson. (File photo)

GOVERNORS and mayors of highly urbanized cities in Western Visayas are asking the national Inter-Agency Task Force for a one-week extension of the moratorium on the entry and travel into the region.

The travel moratorium ends on April 10.

Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said the request for extension will not include overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

The request of local chief executives in Western Visayas included a request for an increase in the number of vaccines allotted for the region.

Lacson said Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas was tasked to write the request.

The governor expressed alarm over the surge in cases in Negros Occidental.

"If these continue, we may surpass last year's peak of active cases," he said.

As of April 7, 2021, the province had 635 active cases, with 7,000 recoveries and 230 deaths, or a cumulative 7,865 cases since March 2020, data from the Provincial Incident Management Team showed.

Lacson said last year, Negros Occidental recorded the "historical high peak" of 1,683 cases on September 28.

As part of the provincial government's effort to curb the surge in Covid-19 cases, Lacson issued Thursday, April 8, Executive Order (EO) 21-21, implementing stringent measures on mass gatherings in the province.

Among the points of the EO is the 30-percent limitation on venue of gatherings.

It also said participants of gatherings should strictly observe minimum public health standards and establishments of these gatherings should comply with ventilation standards set by the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole).

The EO also authorized local government units to impose localized and targeted lockdowns in their jurisdictions.

The EO took effect immediately.

On Wednesday, Mayor Richard Jaojoco placed at least 700 households in Barangay Bug-ang, Toboso on lockdown after nine out of the 56 residents who underwent swab tests turned out positive for coronavirus

In nearby San Carlos City, Mayor Renato Gustilo placed 24 households in Barangay Guadalupe on lockdown.

Some 16 church choir members and lay leaders were among those infected.

In Cadiz City, Mayor Salvador Escalante Jr. ordered a lockdown for Purok Mainuswagon, Barangay Zone 2 as residents undergo swab tests.


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