4-day ‘time-out weekend’ set in Negros Occidental, Bacolod for mass testing
BACOLOD CITY — A four-day “time-out weekend” will be held in Negros Occidental and Bacolod City in a bid to test and isolate individuals who contracted the coronavirus.
From August 28 to 31, former Rep. Alfredo “Albee” Benitez said 10,000 polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, which detects the SARS-COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in the body, will be conducted for free.
A special task force will be created to conduct the massive testing on about 5,000 persons in Bacolod City in the first two days and another 5,000 in Silay, Talisay, and Bago cities and Murcia town in the next succeeding days.
The massive testing costs about P35 million.
Benitez noted that Bacolod and Negros Occidental have the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Western Visayas.
“There will be no movement at all. There will be a lockdown for four days while we test everybody,” he said in a press conference in the presence of Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson and Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia.
Benitez stressed the need to step up the tracing, testing, and treating of COVID-19 afflicted persons.
“If we do not do this properly, we will end up losing the war to this virus,” he said.
“That is why we need to play catch up in the battle versus the virus that is spreading in our community with the rising transmission rates. We can then isolate those who test positive, he added.
Five COVID-19 laboratories in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental will be able to process 2,500 tests a day.
Lacson said Negros Occidental and Bacolod City are working working together in the fight against COVID-19.
He said he will issue an executive order for the four-day lockdown.
Leonardia said Bacolod City will also participate in the “O-Plan: One-time, big-time mass testing.”
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