Bacolod logs 122 new COVID cases as city awaits updated quarantine status

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Bacolod City, Negros Occidental— As news of a possible escalation of the city’s quarantine classification awaits Malacañang’s approval, the Department of Health in Western Visayas reported a total of 122 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, July 14.

In a bulletin released by the health bureau it has tagged the city under moderate risk, along with the city of Iloilo.

In a press briefing held today, July 15, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the ‘updated’ quarantine status for the period of July 16-30 is set to be released within the day.

But in a letter sent to the National Inter-Agency Task Force, Mayor Evelio Leonardia “firmly and vigorously” requested the National IATF to reconsider its recommendation to escalate Bacolod’s risk classification to MECQ, and instead retain its GCQ status until July 31, 2021.

The mayor explained that in the last 2 weeks, the city significantly decrease COVID-19 cases, with the Average Daily Attack Rate (ADAR) of 10.18 down from 17.49 during the previous 3-4 weeks, and 2-week Growth Rate (2WGR) of -42% from -22.82% 3-4 weeks ago. This according to Leonardia should be reasonable to allow Bacolod City to remain under General Community Quarantine (GCQ).

“As the local chief executive, I must make difficult choices,” the mayor said as he underscored how the health crisis has rapidly become an economic concern.

The mayor said many Bacolodnons have already lost their jobs and businesses because of the prolonged community quarantine, and adding more restrictions can result to dire consequences in our economy and will result to more hardships to the already suffering families.

Instead of a more stricter protocol, the mayor said the city will instead focus on expanded testing and intensified contact tracing. He also highlights the city’s strict border controls, restricting mass gatherings, strict implementation curfew and liquor ban and the alternative work arrangements in both government and private offices.