BACOLOD CITY: Government officials in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental see no need yet to close their borders even if a monkeypox case was confirmed in neighboring Iloilo province.

Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said borders will not be closed, but Negros residents should continue to observe Covid-19 health protocols that will also protect them against monkeypox.

Dr. Ernell Tumimbang, provincial health officer, said Negros Occidental "is still safe from monkeypox."

Tumimbang reminded the public to be vigilant and to continue to observe health protocols.

The provincial government is continuing to monitor travelers entering the province, he also said.

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In Bacolod City, Mayor Alfredo Abelardo "Albee" Benitez met with city health office officials to ensure that the city is prepared against possible monkeypox cases.

Dr. Adriano Suba-an, Department of Health 6 regional director, said in a statement released on Tuesday that the fourth monkeypox case detected in the country involves a 25-year-old male from Iloilo province who worked in Iloilo City.

The Iloilo resident had no documented history of travel to or from any country with confirmed cases of monkeypox.

The patient is currently being treated and isolated in a hospital, Suba-an said.

The DoH has conducted contact tracing and identified 14 close contacts of the patient, he said.

All close contacts are being monitored and an investigation is still ongoing to find out the source of the infection, Suba-an said.

The DoH in Western Visayas is coordinating with local government units and health facilities to further strengthen surveillance, contact tracing, and referral mechanisms, including management, he said.

The public is advised to remain calm and properly informed about the monkeypox disease, Suba-an said. EUGENE ADIONG"Its symptoms are mild and the disease is rarely fatal. Avoid close sustained physical contact with suspected cases, especially those with rashes and skin lesions," he said.

He reminded the public to avoid sharing information and photos of an individual's health situation and of close contacts on social media, out of respect for their privacy.