An official of the Negros Occidental provincial government has dismissed a research team’s monitoring report tagging the province as among the “areas of concern” for coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
“I don’t know what’s the basis, but for the last several days, our cases were low,” Provincial administrator Rayfrando Diaz II said in an interview on Wednesday.
Diaz issued the statement when asked for his reaction regarding the inclusion of Negros Occidental in the list of “provinces of concern” released by OCTA Research, a group mainly composed of scientists from the University of the Philippines.
As of December 2, Negros Occidental has 32 new cases, based on the data released by the Department of Health-Western Visayas on Wednesday night. On December 1, it has 47 new cases; November 30 – 77; November 29 – 91; November 28 – 52; November 27 – 15; and November 26 – 10.
“It is not out of control. They have to understand that it is the whole province. Before, we reached more than 100 (new) cases, still we were classified under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ),” Diaz said.
Negros Occidental, comprised of 19 municipalities and 12 cities, excluding Bacolod, has been placed under MGCQ since June 1.
Diaz said on November 26, he received a message from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) OIC-regional director Juan Jovian Ingeniero, informing DILG-Negros Occidental that the recommended quarantine classification for NegOcc is still MGCQ.
“It’s clear that based on the data of DILG, Negros Occidental is still under MGCQ. That is the correct quarantine classification for us,” he added.
Diaz acknowledged that there are more cases in some cities considered as “melting pots”, where business and commerce activities are high, such as Kabankalan, Cadiz, Sagay and San Carlos.
“(Through) our prompt action, we were able to identify and isolate the positive cases immediately. So I don’t think that OCTA has a proper ground in challenging the DILG recommendation for Negros Occidental,” he said.
Diaz also said the provincial government, being on the ground, knows what’s happening.
“The barometer is the hospitals. Our Covid-19 hospitals are almost empty. The Mambukal Resort Healing Center has zero occupants. I don’t (know) what OCTA is referring to,” he added.
Source: Philippines News agency