ROBINSON NIÑAL JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO
Malacañang on Thursday warned the public of a possible uptick in Covid-19 cases after the Christmas season, as it listed risks posed by usual holiday activities.
“Mas mabuti nang maagap,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said in a media briefing.
“Sa ngayon, alam natin na ang Christmas season ay isang masayang okasyon sa Pilipinas kung saan marami ang pagtitipon, pagkikita-kita at reunions ng mga miyembro ng pamilya at mahal sa buhay. Huwag kakalimutan ang minimum health protocol ng pamahalaan… ang mask, hugas and iwas,” he added.
Citing a Department of Health (DOH) circular, Roque said attending online masses, celebrating Noche Buena and Media Noche at home and online shopping were activities considered “safe” amid the holidays.
In contrast, physical participation in indoor religious activities, singing and speaking loudly, shopping in malls and flea markets and huge mass gatherings were labeled “high-risk” activities.
“Alam natin na sabik na tayo na magdiwang dahil Pasko. Puwede naman po tayong magdiwang basta paalalahanan natin ang ating mga sarili, kinakailangan abutan natin ang vaccine dahil naririyan po [ang Covid-19],” Roque said.
“[K]inakailangang mamili para sa Pasko pero ingatan naman natin ang ating mga sarili hindi lang para sa hanapbuhay kung hindi para tayo ay magkaroon ng maligayang Pasko dahil kapag kayo ay nagkasakit, nasaan ang Merry Christmas?” he added.
The country’s Covid-19 inter-agency task force has yet to give its mandate on the supposed ban on Christmas caroling, but the activity has been discouraged by government officials.
“Based on studies and statistics, the spread of Covid-19 is more likely to occur in mass singing like choir and caroling because singers have to remove their masks as they sing and viruses are released through aerosols,” Interior Secretary Eduardo Año earlier said in a statement.The country has recorded 421,722 Covid-19 cases as of Nov. 24. John Ezekiel J. Hirro