NEGROS Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson has reminded the public not to treat flu lightly, but instead consider it as a possible coronavirus disease (Covid-19) case, so they should isolate themselves immediately.

Lacson made the reminder as it is observed that fever, colds and cough are now prevalent and everyone seemingly treats it as common or normal because of the existing weather condition.

He said he personally witnessed on his way to Hinoba-an town Wednesday, January 19, that several people do not use face masks anymore despite the increasing cases of Covid-19.

A report released by the Department of Health (DOH)-Western Visayas showed that as of January 18, the average daily attack rate in Negros Occidental or the new cases per 100,000 population was at 2.82 percent.

The two-week growth rate or the increase of the number of new infections in the last 14 days in the province has now reached 1,636 percent.

Negros Occidental's positivity rate was at 21 percent and the hospital utilization climbs at 45.10 percent, it added.

With this, Lacson said the province has been preparing two additional Covid-19 designated hospitals and quarantine facilities in case the cases continue to increase.

"What we are doing now is the same as what we did during the prevalence of the Delta variant," the governor stressed, adding that the kind of Covid-19 prevalent in the province now seems very infectious.

At present, the province is utilizing the Cadiz District Hospital as Covid-designated hospital, while the Valladolid District Hospital in Valladolid town and Valeriano Gatuslao District Hospital in Himamaylan City will also be utilized when cases continue to rise.

Lacson also agreed on the temporary closure of the offices at the Silay City Government offices.

The Silay City Government announced the closure of the offices from January 19 to 21 for decontamination.

A skeletal workforce is being implemented in the locality so as not to cripple transactions.