Bacolod City appeals for lower alert level to allow more business activities

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THE BACOLOD City government has asked the national government to downgrade its coronavirus alert category to the more relaxed level 3 from the level 4 imposed from Nov. 1 to 14, citing a decrease in cases and manageable utilization rate of medical and isolation facilities.

Mayor Evelio R. Leonardia, in a letter to the Health secretary dated Oct. 29, said the city’s coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) case growth rate in the last two weeks dropped by 39% while the average daily attack rate decreased to 13.24 from 21.62.

“There is a significant indication of a continuous reduction of additional cases in the city. Given the foregoing, it is reasonable to loosen restrictions in order for our residents to resume earning activities,” the mayor said.

He also pointed out that city residents account for only half of the hospital utilization rate of 69%, with the rest of the patients coming from neighboring towns. Bacolod, although a politically independent city, serves as the capital of Negros Occidental province.

As of Oct. 30, the city with a population of over 583,000 had 1,730 active COVID-19 cases out of the 23,032 recorded since the start of the pandemic, based on data from the Department of Health’s Western Visayas office.

There were 577 deaths and 20,722 recoveries.

“By ramping up our vaccination program, we also expect cases to even decrease significantly in the proceeding weeks,” Mr. Leonardia said.

He cited that 42.28% of the local population were fully vaccinated as of Oct. 28, while 12% have received a first dose. Bacolod City was also among the areas outside the capital that started pediatric vaccination for those aged 12 to 17 on Oct. 29. — MSJ