NegOcc seeks de-escalation of more LGUs to Alert Level 1

Medical and Health Care

The Negros Occidental provincial government is pushing for the inclusion of more local government units (LGUs) under Alert Level 1, the lowest category in the country’s coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) community quarantine system.

Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz II on Monday welcomed the Department of Health’s (DOH) approval of the province’s proposal to assign an alert level for each city and municipality.

“We are happy we have five LGUs separately de-escalated to Alert Level 1. (We) hope by April 16, the others can also be included,” he told reporters.

From April 1 to 15, five out of the 31 LGUs in Negros Occidental, including the towns of Enrique B. Magalona, Pulupandan and San Enrique, and the component cities of La Carlota and Sagay, have been placed under Alert Level 1 by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

“What we recommended was, if a per LGU classification is possible, which already happened. For us, it’s already a success. We are thankful about that,” Diaz, the action officer of the provincial IATF, said.

He added the development would pave the way for the other LGUs to be reclassified and de-escalated as well starting April 16 as the province will also lobby for their inclusion with the DOH after having met the parameters or requirements for a lower alert level.

“If they will consider the other LGUs that have done their share in terms of vaccination program and with zero number of cases, maybe there’s no reason the DOH will deny them,” Diaz said.

Last week, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said Negros Occidental is expected to remain under Alert Level 2 starting April 1 due to its low vaccination coverage rate, which has yet to reach 70 percent of the target population.

However, Diaz said the province also wants the LGUs that have performed well in the vaccination campaign to enjoy the fruits of their hard work and be downgraded to Alert Level 1.

Under Alert Level 1, movement of persons, regardless of age and comorbidities, is allowed, but with restrictions on crowded and closed spaces and close contact (3Cs) settings while private establishments and government agencies are allowed to operate at full on-site capacity, subject to minimum public health standards.

Source: Philippines News Agency