TO PREVENT the entry of the Omicron variant of Sars-CoV-2, which causes the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), the City Government of Bacolod is strengthening its border control and reviewing its travel restrictions.

Dr. Chris Sorongon, deputy for medical data and analysis of the Emergency Operations Center-Task Force (EOC-TF), said Monday, November 39, that they will hold a meeting with Mayor Evelio Leonardia to study the Safe, Swift and Smart Passage (S-Pass) requirement in light of the Omicron variant threat.

Sorongon said they will review the travel guidelines and the minimum health protocols in the city, including the entry of minors in malls and the use of face shields.

The EOC-TF will also review the guidelines in holding a Christmas party, among others, in spite of the fact that Bacolod City was placed under Alert Level 2 from December 1 to 15.

In a related development, Sorongon said they were informed that there were three foreign nationals from South Africa who arrived in Manila on November 23 and traveled to Bacolod-Silay Airport in Silay City on November 26.

He said the three, who are working in a company in Negros Occidental, did not undergo swab test since they also presented a negative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) result from South Africa.

They were instead advised to continue their seven-day isolation in the province. They are currently staying in different cities and municipalities, the doctor said.

Sorongon said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) already ordered the Provincial Government to extract the three foreign nationals from the houses where they temporarily stay and to transfer them to the hotel quarantine facility until December 2 for their re-swab.

The EOC-TF also directed all the hotel quarantine facilities in Bacolod City not to accept the three foreign nationals.

Sorongon said the three foreign nationals should continue their isolation to avoid the possible spread of the Omicron variant if ever they will be tested positive for the virus.

Sorongon also questioned why despite the strict implementation of S-Pass of the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental, the three foreign nationals still managed to enter the province.

Before November 26, the National Government already issued travel restrictions and placed South Africa in the "red list" to contain the spread of the new Omicron variant, the EOC official said.

"Before they traveled here, they should have already finished their isolation protocols in Manila," he added.

The Omicron variant of Covid-19 was first detected in South Africa and now spreading to some countries.