Bacolod cries for more vaccines as it reels from 422 percent spike in COVID-19 cases
BACOLOD CITY—Mayor Evelio Leonardia is requesting the national government to send more coronavirus vaccines to the city which is currently grappling with a continuing spike in COVID-19 cases.
“We are being hit hard by this new wave of COVID-19 infections,” Leonardia said in a letter to Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the National Task Force for COVID-19.
“Ramping up our vaccination program will be critical to saving lives and restoring economic activity in our city”, Leonardia said.
Early this week, Galvez said the national government might have to prioritize the injection of residents in the so-called National Capital Region (NCR) Plus—Metro Manila and provinces near it—including Bacolod City.
The Department of Health has classified Bacolod City as a high risk area for COVID-19.
The city, as of Thursday (May 6) has 1,061 active cases, according to City Administrator Em Ang, also the executive director of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) of the city government.
Leonardia, in his letter to Galvez, said the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the city, resulting in increases in hospital admissions and deaths.
Hospitals and intensive care units are now bursting at the seams and staff shortages had been reported, the mayor said.
The EOC has recorded an “alarming” increase of 422 percent in the number of COVID-19 cases in the city.
“We have been doing our very best to be ahead in terms of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. We are also on pace to have more new cases as we continue to intensify contact tracing and expand targeted testing,” the mayor said.
Bacolod was among the very first local government units in the country to secure 650,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines, but these doses won’t be delivered until the third quarter of 2021.
“While we have already started to roll out our vaccination program, our allocation from the national government comes in trickles,” Leonardia said.
To date, Bacolod has only received 19,160 vaccine doses from the national government, and has injected only 11,993 out of its 424,992 residents eligible for vaccination.
“As we are experiencing a sharp increase in new cases and the threat of even faster spread, we need to accelerate the pace of vaccinations to move through the priority groups more quickly,” the mayor said in his letter.