Physicians group urges Duterte to put Bacolod under ECQ to curb COVID-19 | Inquirer News
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Physicians group urges Duterte to put Bacolod under ECQ to curb COVID-19

/ 12:45 PM July 30, 2020

BACOLOD CITY –– A group of physicians has requested President Duterte to put Bacolod City under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) again to slow down the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the locality.

In a letter sent to the country’s top official, Dr. Ma. Ivy Malata, president of the Philippine Medical Association (PMA)-Canlaon Medical Society, and Dr. Roberto Puerta, president of PMA-Negros Occidental Medical Society expressed the need to bring back the strictest form of quarantine in Bacolod City for at least two weeks.

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They said an ECQ would enable the healthcare system to recuperate and give the local government unit a time to institute and implement interventions, especially with how locally stranded individuals and overseas Filipino workers are being handled.

“We are not equipped for a full-blast COVID-19 war (yet). We only have a few hospitals with limited capacity and equipment. We are just a few steps from being the next epicenter, and we fervently hope that you can help us prevent that from happening,” the doctors said.

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“We believe this is the best way by which we can halt or at least slow down the spread of local transmission, at the same time fix the loopholes that we have in our system, that have led to the situation we are experiencing now,” they added.

The doctors pointed out that there has been a rapid spike in the COVID-19 cases in Bacolod, with local transmission, reaching its highest in the past few days.

“We are now the highest in Western Visayas and there are hundreds of pending results coming in,” they said.

As of Sunday, July 25, Bacolod City has a total of 150 COVID-19 infections.

Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia held a virtual meeting with leaders of the doctors’ group on Saturday, which he described as very good.

“We respect the views and opinions of these doctors but I was surprised to learn of their letter to the president only last night,” he said.

Representatives of the medical community, business leaders, city officials, and the Department of Health were set to meet to further tackle the COVID-19 situation in Bacolod.

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“We will make a clear and honest assessment of the situation and will submit it to the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases),” Leonardia said.

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas on Monday suspended sea travel between Iloilo City and Bacolod City to stop the spread of the virus.

Treñas said he spoke to Leonardia and Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson to inform them about his move.

Leonardia, in response, also temporarily stopped sea travel from Bacolod to Iloilo City.

“Quite naturally, given the distinct circumstances surrounding our two cities, one-way traffic between us will be impractical and not feasible at all, and this necessitates a reciprocal action on our part,” he said.

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TAGS: Bacolod City, Coronavirus, coronavirus disease, COVID-19, ECQ, enhanced community quarantine, Philippine news updates, physicians, Regions, Rodrigo Duterte
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