THOUSANDS of Bacolodnons and Negrenses were inoculated against coronavirus disease (Covid-19) on the first day of the three-day National Vaccination Days Monday, November 29, 2021.

In Bacolod City, 29,047 residents have been vaccinated, while the number of those inoculated in the province reached 70,663 as of 4:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 29.

Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said that initially they thought that the target set by the Department of Health (DOH) of vaccinating at least 22,000 individuals in a single day of the National Vaccination Days Bayanihan Bakunahan campaign seemed difficult, but they were able to surpass it.

“Yes, for emphasis, we were told to vaccinate 22,000 Bacolodnons but we administered anti-Covid jabs to 29,047 and the Emergency Operations Center-Task Force is still counting,” he added.

Bacolod Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, chair of the local Inter-Agency Task Force, noted long queues upon checking some of the vaccination centers in the city.

For Familiaran, the existence of the new Covid-19 variant, Omicron, could have triggered the huge turnout of people getting vaccinated at the vaccination sites.

He expressed confidence that the city will reach the 22,000 targeted individuals to be vaccinated daily for the next two succeeding days of the nationwide vaccination drive running until December 1.

Dr. Edwin Miraflor, officer-in-charge of City Health Office (CHO), earlier said the target given to Bacolod City by the DOH was to administer jabs to 66,000 residents during the entire three-day national vaccination activity.

There are 40 vaccination sites in schools, barangays and malls in the Negros Occidental city that will accommodate those who will avail of the first and second doses including minors aged 12 to 17 years old.

The vaccination sites at SM City and Ayala Malls Capitol Central will also administer booster shots to residents under the A1, A2 and A3 priority groups or medical and health workers, senior citizens and those with comorbidities.

For his part, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said he is amazed by the enthusiasm of various local government units (LGUs) in the province for their active participation in the Bayanihan Bakunahan campaign which is now on its second day.

Initially, the province’s target was to inoculate 300,000 individuals for the three-day massive vaccination drive.

However, it was reduced following their meeting with Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, who stressed that it's difficult to reach such a target.

In the cities of Silay and Talisay, the officials requested 6,000 to 8,000 vaccines Monday, Nov. 29.

The Municipal Government of Isabela also requested four vaccination teams for the inoculation activities.

Lacson has requested the National Government not to send Sputnik V vaccines to the province because people prefer other vaccines.

Meanwhile, the governor announced Monday that the Cadiz District Hospital will now become the sole Covid-19 treatment facility in Negros Occidental as the number of cases had significantly gone down.

The Valeriano M. Gatuslao Hospital in Himamaylan City and Valladolid District Hospital can now accept non-Covid-19 patients.

"But of course at any time, God forbid, and a new surge may happen and we have to reopen our hospitals for Covid-19 [patients]," Lacson said.

As of November 29, active cases in Negros Occidental and Bacoldo City are1,180 and 494, respectively.