THE number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in Negros Oriental has risen over the past days, mostly attributed to “lenient” land-based border controls.

Assistant Provincial Health Officer Dr. Liland Estacion, in a virtual presser Tuesday afternoon, August 24, noted that borders shared with Negros Occidental are very easy to cross unnoticed, and some unscrupulous persons even “allow” entry of people without the requirements.

Estacion reported the province logged 63 new infections, more than double compared to the previous days of having more or less 30.

The province has logged a total caseload of 11,020, broken down into 10,413 recoveries, 379 active cases, and 228 mortalities.

Estacion commended the people manning the border control operations at the seaports and airport who are very strict with the requirements at these entry points.

But for the land-based border control, Estacion said she doubts there is strict implementation “because essential workers like truck drivers and ‘pahinante’ (assistants) come to my office to get a medical certificate” and when asked for health requirements so they can enter Negros Oriental, such as the antigen test, “they do not have any.”

Estacion, also the province's Covid-19 commander, said she interviewed these people as to why they could not present the documents needed and has asked Provincial Administrator Froilan Joseph Pinili, who the governor earlier tasked to be in charge of border control, to look into the matter.

Negros Oriental remains under general community quarantine with heightened restrictions. (PNA)