Public told to scrap Christmas parties
“Alam niyo po, kahit kayo po ay naka-mask at naka-face shield, pero kung kayo naman po ay pupunta sa mga matataong lugar na halos dikit-dikit na po kayo maaari pa rin po kayo mahawa,”DOH Under Secretary and Spokesperson Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire said.
Interaksyon/Bernard Testa

Public told to scrap Christmas parties

Mary Ruth R. Malinao (The Freeman) - November 28, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The risk of contracting COVID-19 remains high even if one is wearing a face mask and a face shield in an enclosed crowded place, said the Department of Health (DOH).

With this, DOH has advised the public  to avoid holding big Christmas parties and other gatherings.

“Alam niyo po, kahit kayo po ay naka-mask at naka-face shield, pero kung kayo naman po ay pupunta sa mga matataong lugar na halos dikit-dikit na po kayo maaari pa rin po kayo mahawa,”DOH Under Secretary and Spokesperson Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire said.

Exploring congested areas, close-contact settings, and confined places are the three risk factors that pose a high risk of COVID-19 transmission, said Vergeire.

“The threat of the virus is even higher when these factors overlap. Examples of the three risk factors include: attending large family, social, or religious gatherings, in-person shopping in malls and bazaars, and indoor gathering of a large group of people that involves singing, shouting and dancing,” she said.

In line with this, Vergeire urged the public to consider modifying their Christmas activities or resorting to virtual activities to mitigate the spread of the virus, particularly in enclosed spaces and with an exceeding number of attendees from the recommended limit.

“The risk is there and it’s very high. At kung saka-sakaling kailangan naman talagang mamili, maaari naman siguro po na magkakaroon po tayo ng ibang pamamaraan para magkaroon ng ganitong activities for yourselves,” said Vergeire.

DOH has released Department Circular (DC) No. 2020-0355 or the Reiteration of the Minimum Public Health Standards for COVID-19 Mitigation during the holidays to provide guidance on how to observe minimum public health standards in these occasions and ensure the health and  safety of everyone participating in celebrations and activities.

DC No. 2020-0355 specifically provides risk-mitigation measures for the public to adhere to during the holiday season.

In Cebu City, Mayor Edgardo Labella also echoed Vergeire’s appeal.

“Ako nang gi-encourage na kun mahimo, di lang ta mag Christmas party kay di man gud ang party mahimo og usa or duha ra ka tawo,” said Labella.

“Mag-ingon ta og party, daghan, unya malingaw, makalimot na sa mga health protocols. Usahay makatilaw lang gani og gamay’ng alcohol, makalimot na sa atong gibantayan nga mga minimum health requirements,” he added.

He said the city government will forego the holding of Christmas parties this year to avoid COVID-19 transmission.

It was earlier reported that instead of having a Christmas party, the P5 million budget for such celebration for City Hall employees will have to be diverted to purchase goods as “gifts” to sectors greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I have decided that there will be no Christmas party as a gesture of sympathy in these difficult trying times,” Labella earlier said.

Aside from thinking of the safety of each employee in mass gatherings, Labella said there are a lot of affected sectors in Cebu City that need help. — Caecent No-ot Magsumbol, KQD (FREEMAN)

COVID-19 DOH
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