QUEZON CITY, Nov. 25 (PIA) - Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said that the Department of Health (DOH) is preparing for a contingency plan in case of a post-holiday surge in COVID-19 cases.
"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, (This time we are aware that Christmas season is one of the most happiest occasion in the Philippines as more people gather together, reuniting with family members and loved ones. Let's not forget to practice minimum health protocols)," Roque said during the press briefing yesterday.
Roque said that health measures such as wearing of masks and physical distancing must be enforced in bazaars as more people are expected to shop during this holiday season.
It can be remembered that when the country relaxed restrictions, many people trooped to malls and some malls were temporarily shut down by the local government units.
"Iremind ko lang po ang mga tiangge operators na pupuwede po kayong mapasara kapag hindi ninyo i-nobserve ang social distancing, (Let me remind bazaar operators that violating social distancing measure could lead to shop closure)," Roque said.
He also reminded the local government units about their responsibility to implement health protocols in their areas of jurisdictions.
The Department of Health has released Circular 2020-0355 to ensure that the public will be able to observe and practice the minimum public health standards during the holiday season. They also identified holiday activities that can be classified as safe, moderate risk, and high risk.
High risk activities include physical attendance in indoor religious activities with many attendees, shopping in crowded malls and tiangge, big gatherings in enclosed spaces, singing and speaking loudly, and physical contact.
The public is strongly advised to take precautions to protect their health, as we know that there is a need to shop for holiday gifts as well as celebrate the Christmas season but "let's take care of our health not only to be able to get to work but also to have a Merry Christmas," Roque advised.
As of November 24 DOH recorded a total of 421,722 confirmed cases with 8,185 deaths and 386,792 recoveries. (GRC-PIA IDPD)