Ban on mass gatherings stays

Olmin Leyba - The Philippine Star
Ban on mass gatherings stays
Maria Rosario Vergeire

MANILA, Philippines — It will likely take a while before the country’s top sports leagues and other athletic competitions get the go-signal to return to action, according to a health official.

Department of Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, in an interview on the Power and Play program on Radyo 5 yesterday, said sports-related mass gatherings present a risk of transmission and thus won’t be allowed soon.

“I think matatagalan pa po bago natin mapag-usapan at mapag-aralan kung pwedeng ibalik o hindi iyan (sports leagues) dahil marami pong mga konsiderasyon na kailangan nating pag-isipan ukol diyan,” Vergeire said.

The government has extended the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and other high-risk areas until May 15 but started placing the moderate-risk places under the more relaxed general community quarantine last Friday.

In both the ECQ and GQC, mass gatherings are still banned.

“Marami tayong ebidensya para dyan. May siyensya, na kapag meron tayong mga ganitong pagtitipon-tipon talagang ang ating pagkakahawa-hawa ay laganap,” explained Vergeire.

“Ang sports events ay considered na mass gathering siya kaya kasali siya sa general guidelines, na hindi pa natin yan mapapagayagan,” she added.

Vergeire expressed belief sports will “definitely be back” and urged leagues and associations to start thinking about how they’d proceed under the so-called “new normal.”

“Matatagalan pa siguro,” she said.


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