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Nation

Negros Occidental not closing border amid Omicron subvariant scare

Gilbert Bayoran - The Philippine Star

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines — The provincial government of Negros Occidental will not close its borders despite the reported local transmission of the highly contagious Omicron subvariant of COVID in Iloilo City.

“It’s too early for that. Let’s just protect ourselves and do our share,” Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said.

However, he stressed the need to monitor cases of the Omicron subvariant, which were also detected in Metro Manila and Puerto Princesa City in Palawan.

Lacson said hospital admission of patients infected with the COVID subvariant in Iloilo is ”very low,” an indication that these are mild cases.

He said vaccinated visitors are no longer required to register with the S-Pass or the Safe, Swift and Smart Passage when entering Bacolod-Silay airport. S-Pass is the travel management system developed by the Department of Science and Technology to facilitate domestic travel amid varying restriction levels due to COVID.

However, Lacson said travelers should prepare their vaccination cards.

He said unvaccinated travelers would have to undergo rapid antigen testing upon arrival at the airport or seaport.

Except for EB Magalona, Pulupandan, San Enrique and Candoni towns as well the cities of Sagay, Victorias, La Carlota and Bacolod, which are under Alert Level 1, the rest of Negros Occidental remain under the stricter Alert Level 2 until May 31.                     

COVID-19

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