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Leonardia: Reversal to ECQ is IATF’s call

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Bacolod City is preparing a coronavirus (Covid-19) situationer to be submitted to the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF) against the Covid-19 and the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) in response to the call of doctors’ to revert the city to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

Mayor Evelio Leonardia said the City Health Office and City Administrator Em Ang are preparing the situationer.

The Philippine Medical Association and the Philippine Medical Society earlier asked President Rodrigo Duterte to place the city under ECQ for two weeks due to the surge in the number of infections. (https://bit.ly/2P1pRrp)

The IATF will assess and decide on the matter, according to the mayor.

“We assure you that we are doing our best to contain this. It is not time to panic but it is time to be very, very careful,” he added.

The appeal of the Bacolod medical community was discussed with other city officials in a virtual meeting with Department of Health (DOH) regional director Dr. Marlyn Convocar.

Also in the dialogue were Office of the Civil Defense regional director Jose Roberto Nuñez, Department of the Interior and Local Government regional director Juan Jovian Ingeniero, and Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson.

The Bacolod City government was represented by Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, who chairs the local IATF; Councilor Cindy Rojas, who chairs the Action Team on Returning Residents; Ang, Secretary to the Mayor Atty. Edward Joseph Cuansing, Executive Assistant George Zulueta, and IATF spokesperson Dr. Grace Tan.

Select medical doctors, businessmen, and representatives of the Bacolod City Health Office, Bacolod City DRRMO, and Iloilo City DRRMO also joined the online discussion.

Last July 20, Canlaon Medical Society president Dr. Ma. Ivy Malata and Negros Occidental Medical Society president Dr. Robert Puerta wrote to Leonardia to express their alarm on the recent spike of Covid-19 cases in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental due to local transmissions.

They recommended that Bacolod be placed under ECQ for at least two weeks again to limit the movement of people to contain the virus and prevent its spread to a level of high community transmission, which would be more difficult to handle.