TO FOCUS on the reduction of cases in the highly urbanized city of Bacolod, Mayor Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Benitez has formed the Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19) Action Team yesterday, July 4.

Benitez said the Covid-19 Action Team will be composed of the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO) along with the City Health Office (CHO), Department of Social Services and Development (DSSD), and Management Information Technology and Computer Services (MITCS).

He said they are also scheduling a meeting with the officials of the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental.

“We will combine our efforts and resources together for the Covid-19 response,” Benitez also said, adding that he has directed the CHO to coordinate with the Department of Health (DOH) regarding the data or information of new variants of Covid-19.

As of now, Benitez stressed that “we are lucky as the Omicron variant is not as deadly, but we don’t know whether there will be another variant that might even be worse than Delta.”

“So to be on top of it, (we need to) make sure that we have the earliest information regarding this from the DOH and directly connect with the World Health Organization (WHO) also to gather information regarding the future trends of variant,” the mayor added.

Currently, DOH records show that the National Capital Region (NCR) is now leading in new Covid-19 infections with a positive rate of 7.5 percent.

Earlier, Benitez dissolved the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) which was formed by former mayor Evelio Leonardia to lead the city's Covid-19 response including the vaccination program.

Benitez said the city government will also continue the vaccination program, especially to administer the booster shots.

He said they will make another vaccination campaign in the barangays instead of having it in the mall.*