ISABELA CITY, Basilan, Feb 14 (PIA) - Taking proactive stance in avoiding the risks of contracting and spread of Corona Virus Disease (COVID)-19, the provincial government of Basilan cancelled all major activities of the annual Tennun Pakaradjaan Basilan.
Tennun festivities are a week-long celebration of the province's 46th founding anniversary this year.
In a statement released to Philippine Information Agency, Basilan Governor Jim Hataman-Salliman stressed on the urgency to protect Basilenos from possible entry and proliferation of the virus in the province, thus the selective cancelation of activities was made, especially those that involves mass gathering of people.
"As an act of prevention, our government initiates various quarantine measures in order to protect our country from the onslaught of the Corona Virus. Yet, we also know that the virus got through our defenses despite the government's uncompromising efforts to safeguard our gateways. Now, the rest of the country is on high alert, discouraging mass gatherings and mass activities if only to keep the Filipino people safe from the virus," the statement reads.
Governor Salliman said that the decision was made based on consultation and deliberation of department heads, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, and stakeholders who deemed it proper "to cancel some of the 10-day celebratory activities of the 2020 Tennun Pakaradjaan.
Among the crowd-drawing activities that were cancelled include the search for Mr. and Ms. Tennun Pakaradjaan, the Fun-Run of Colors, concerts, cultural showcase, Agro-Industry Trade Fair, the civic parade, and various sports, among others.
However, a discreet celebration will push through like the Governor's State of the Province Address on March 4, a simple program and tree-planting on the foundation day on March 7 and other activities like the Governor's Night (March 7), Qur-an Reading and Memorization Competition on March 5.
The governor reminded the public to be "mindful of our surroundings and be conscious of cleanliness for it is the first line of defense against any other viruses. He also called upon those who are into social media to refrain from issuing fake news that would cause undue panic to the people.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health, recently released an advisory that "strongly urges the public to avoid attending, participating in, and organizing events that draw a huge number of attendees."
As of Wednesday noon, (Geneva time), the World Health Organization (WHO) reported 44,730 confirmed cases of Covid-2019 in China and 441 cases outside China.
There are three confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines, all of whom are foreigners, according to the Department of Health (DOH).
There is no evidence yet of local community transmission in the country, health authorities said. #COVID19 (NBE/RVC/PIA9-Basilan)