BACOLOD CITY (PNA) – Locally-stranded individuals (LSIs) will not be allowed to enter Sipalay City, Negros Occidental in the next 14 days because of limited space in its quarantine facility.

The suspension of arrival of LSIs in the southern Negros city from September 28 to October 11 was approved by the Western Visayas Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF) and the Regional Task Force (RTF) on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as provided in Resolution No. 40 issued on Saturday.

“The (city’s) remaining bed capacity will not be enough in the next two weeks,” the resolution stated, citing figures showing that only 41 beds remain available in the 235-bed quarantine facility.

With some 194 already occupied, only the 27 LSIs arriving until September 27 will be accommodated for now.

Earlier, Mayor Gina Lizares issued Executive Order 36, imposing the suspension of the issuance of certificate of appearance to Sipalay for 14 days.

According to the RIATF and RTF, there has also been a delay in the release of COVID-19 test results in the province as some personnel of the Teresita L. Jalandoni Provincial Hospital Molecular Laboratory have been quarantined due to contamination which has reduced manpower.

There has also been a delay in the release of results after a mass testing was conducted in the cities of Bacolod, Talisay, Silay, Bago, and town of Murcia from August 28 to 31.

Since the middle of August, Sipalay has banned tourists as the number of COVID-19 cases continued to rise in Negros Occidental and Bacolod City. 

Before the moratorium ended on September 16, Sipalay extended the ban on tourism-related and non-essential travels until September 30.

Also prohibited until the end of the month are visits to relatives and friends, church-related activities, school-related transactions, and house-to-house retail selling.

Those allowed to travel to Sipalay were only those with medical-related transactions, business transactions with open establishments, government-related transactions, delivery of goods and items, non-residents from non-high risk areas who are employed in Sipalay, and residents who are employed in non-high risk areas.

Data from the Provincial Health Office showed that, as of September 26, Sipalay has 57 confirmed COVID-19 cases. 

The figures provided did not yet include recoveries and deaths.

Source: Manila Bulletin (