The country’s inter-agency pandemic task force eyes urging President Rodrigo Duterte to remind the public of health restrictions for the looming holiday season, the head of the National Task Force (NTF) Covid-19 said on Monday.

In a Palace briefing, NTF chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases would push Duterte to make a public statement to remove complacency among Filipinos.

“Sinasabihan nga po natin na gagawa nga po ang IATF ng recommendation to our president na magkaroon po ng tinatawag na announcement to be extra cautious this coming holidays,” he said.

Galvez said Manila has seen an uptick in active Covid-19 cases the past days as Filipinos started Christmas shopping.

“Nakita rin po natin na iyong sa Manila umaangat na po iyong tinatawag natin na kanilang active cases. Sa ngayon nga po baka ma-breach nga po natin iyong 3,000, kasi noong dati 2,500 na lang,” he said.

The government earlier called on Filipinos to celebrate the holidays differently this year so as to avoid the further spread of Covid-19.

On Dec. 8, Duterte asked for the public’s compliance with health protocols this holiday season, saying there would be a curtailment of usual traditions and celebrations to avoid Covid-19.

“We are saying sorry that there will be a curtailment of so many things that you have been used to during Christmas time. Look at it this way, all of the Christmas of your lifetime, ngayon lang naman ito isang beses hinihingi ng gobyerno para sa iyo,” he said in a televised address.

“You had parties every Christmas. Would you be kind enough just to skip the — not really frivolous but the festivities, iwasan na muna ninyo. You avoid it because it is for your own good and for the good of the community and eventually for the good of the country,” he added.

The government has banned caroling and videoke use and discouraged family reunions for this year’s holiday season.

The country’s Covid-19 case count surpassed 450,000 on Dec. 14. John Ezekiel J. Hirro