Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo announced Wednesday that the province is pushing through with the easing of travel restrictions despite recent spike of Covid-19 cases. 

Degamo based his decision on his consultation with Dr. Jaime Bernadas, the regional director of the Department of Health (DOH) in Central Visayas. 

He said Bernadas only reminded him to ensure strict screening at control points to ensure that inbound travelers are not showing Covid-19 symptoms. 

“Based on that clearance from the DOH-regional office, I will release the executive order today,” Degamo said. 

Starting Thursday, Nov. 4, fully vaccinated inbound travelers only need to present upon entry into the province the original and copy of their vaccination card or certificate, and valid identification.

However, unvaccinated travelers are still required to present a negative RT-PCR test result upon entering the province. 

Dr. Liland Estacion, the Assistant Provincial Health Officer said they have observed lesser cases in the past few days. “We have reached a plateau (of cases) last week. Now, cases are going down.” 

Both the provincial pathologist and the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital molecular laboratory observed the downtrend of Covid infections. 

Estacion hopes the case decline would continue until after the holidays. The province was supposed to lift the Covid testing requirements for fully vaccinated travelers on Nov. 1 but was postponed when Malacañang extended placing the province under Alert Level 4 until Nov. 15.  

For Nov. 1 and 2 alone, Estacion reported an additional 137 new cases and 44 new deaths. 

There are currently 2,426 active Covid cases in Negros Oriental, the highest in Centrla Visayas.– Ryan Sorote

UPDATE (Nov. 4, 2021):  Under Executive Order No. 43, Series of 2021 issued on Wednesday, instead of an RT-PCR test result, a negative antigen test result valid within 48 hours after the release of the result is required from unvaccinated travelers entering the province.  (Ed)