BACOLOD CITY – Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson on Monday encouraged Negrenses to support the neighboring Iloilo City in containing cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) after it was placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until the end of the month.
“Let’s just help Iloilo. They feel that is one way of stopping the surge then, let’s be part of that solution. Someday, we may (also) need something from Iloilo,” he said in an interview with Capitol reporters after a passenger travel ban was imposed between Iloilo City and Negros Island and vice versa starting Tuesday.
The declaration of MECQ resulted in a moratorium on sea travel between the two areas from May 25 to 31 as stated in an advisory issued by the Philippine Coast Guard.
“I don’t think it’s a problem. It was granted,” Lacson said of the travel ban.“Yes, there will be some business that will be affected. A few days, one week at most, we will cooperate with Iloilo.”
Although travel of persons will be prohibited, unimpeded movement of cargoes in and out of Iloilo City and Negros Island will be guaranteed during the period, according to the Coast Guard Station Bacolod.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases placed Iloilo City under the stricter MECQ status from May 23 to 31, following a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases as stated in its Resolution 6-C.
Iloilo City was previously under modified general community quarantine.
Based on the monitoring of the Covid-19 Response Team and the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit of the City Health Office, a 290-percent increase in the city’s daily average rate of cases was recorded from April to May this year.
The surge in cases in recent weeks has “overwhelmed the hospitals in Iloilo City and with bed capacity becoming full to critical”, Mayor Jerry Treñas said.
By Nanette Guadalquiver