The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases has ordered a ban on Christmas caroling to prevent a possible uptick in Covid-19 cases during the holiday season.
In a Laging Handa briefing, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said the IATF would have a meeting on Nov. 26 to discuss what Christmas activities would be allowed.
“Sinabi na nga ng IATF na iyong caroling, talaga pong ipinagbabawal natin and then magkakaroon po kami ng meeting this coming Thursday, one of our item and issue to be tackled itong incoming celebrations natin during Christmas,” he said.
Galvez also encouraged the public to celebrate the holiday season in a simple manner.
“Kung maaari ay talagang dapat na talagang maging parang pamilya na at same time huwag na po tayong masyadong magkaroon ng magarbong mga selebrasyon kasi nakikita po natin na ito po ay magiging cause ng spread ng ating virus,” Galvez, chief implementer of the country’s National Action Plan (NAP) against Covid-19 said.
On Tuesday, Malacañang warned the public of a possible surge in Covid-19 infections after the Christmas season and reminded Filipinos to not be complacent.
“Alam natin na sabik na tayo na magdiwang dahil Pasko. Pwede naman po tayong magdiwang basta paalalahanan natin ang ating mga sarili, kinakailangan abutan natin ang vaccine dahil naririyan po [ang Covid-19],” Palace spokesman Harry 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.
Holiday activities deemed safe by the Department of Health are attending online masses, celebrating Noche Buena and Media Noche at home and online shopping.
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. John Ezekiel J. Hirro