The Davao City COVID-19 Task Force called on Dabawenyos to continue observing the minimum public health standards (MPHS) – despite the voluntary wearing of face masks and the lifting of the social distancing rule – when attending the `Simbang Gabi’ (Nine Mornings) or other Christmas-related activities, such as parties and reunions.
The `Simbang Gabi,” a nine-day devotional series of Masses by Filipino Catholics in anticipation of Christmas, will start on December 16 to 24.
Dr. Michelle Schlosser, the spokesperson of the Davao City COVID-19 Task Force, said even as COVID-19 health protocols and restrictions have eased, it’s still not the time to be complacent.
“Wala na’y restrictions. Full capacity na, allowed na gyud tanan. Ato lang himangno sa mga katawhan, this is a very strong reminder to everyone, kahit na ang atong datos nga naga ingon nga mubo na atong cases ug mubo na ang deaths nato, the truth of the matter is naa gihapon ang COVID-19. Anytime, magstrike sya (There are no more restrictions. It’s full capacity, and everything is allowed. Let’s just warn people, this is a very strong reminder to everyone, even though our data says that our cases are low and our deaths are low, the truth of the matter is that COVID-19 is still here. Anytime, it will strike),” she said during Wednesday’s (December 14) COVID-19 Alert program of the 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR).
On December 11, Davao City’s positivity rate is at 3.18 percent, which is below the acceptable positivity rate of five percent.
From December 4 to 10, the number of deaths decreased to two – both unvaccinated individuals belonged to the 30 to 39 and the senior citizen age groups.
Since there are still COVID-19 deaths, Schlosser said the coronavirus should not be taken lightly.
“Naa gihapon namatay, naa gihapon cases. Therefore, kinahanglan gihapon magpabakuna tang tanan. Both our unvaccinated deaths, sayang gyud ang kinabuhi kay wala nila matagaan og chance ang ilang lawas nga makigbatok sa virus. Wala gyud sila’y extra layer of protection, protection from the severity of the disease (There are still deaths and cases. Therefore, we all still need to get vaccinated. Both our unvaccinated deaths – it’s a waste of their lives because they didn’t give themselves a chance to fight the virus. They didn’t really have an extra layer of protection from the severity of the disease),” Schlosser said.
She attributed the low active COVID-19 cases (105) from last week to the extensive coverage of the city’s vaccination of the primary dose series. But she said the booster rollout remains a challenge.
She also said that Dabawenyos should have a self-risk assessment when attending parties, reunions, and other social gatherings. Open spaces, according to her, are still safer than enclosed areas considering that face mask wearing is voluntary.
The city health official said it would still boil down to the discipline of the public as she appealed to Dabawenyos’ sense of responsibility for themselves, their loved ones, and their community.
She said, “Kung magpabilin gihapon ta mag-observe sa MPHS, even if it’s voluntary, and if you see that it is really necessary to protect yourself by wearing your face mask, observing social distancing and hand hygiene, kung buhaton nato ni, we’ll be able to contain the number of cases and deaths sa city (If we still observe MPHS, even if it’s voluntary, and if you see that it is really necessary to protect yourself by wearing your face mask, observing social distancing and hand hygiene, if we do this, we’ll be able to contain the number of cases and deaths in the city).”
She also urged Dabawenyos to avail of the anti-COVID-19 vaccines this month, especially the weekend vaccinations at People’s Park from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., as it may no longer be available starting January.
However, vaccination hubs in the city’s district health centers will still be open from Mondays to Fridays. CIO