Despite the continued downtrend of coronavirus disease (COVID)-19 cases in Davao City, Mayor Inday Sara Duterte reminded Dabawenyos to keep adhering to the minimum public health standards (MPHS), especially with the Omicron coronavirus variant cases reported in some countries.

“For the past two weeks, it has been a struggle noh nga pasabton ang mga tawo na we need to continue with the minimum public health standards na implementation nato kini tong (to make people understand that we need to continue with the minimum public health standards we have been implementing and these are the wearing of) mask, distancing, frequent handwashing with soap and water, practicing good
hygiene,” the mayor said during the Special Hours program of 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR) on Monday, November 29, 2021.

The easing of COVID-19 protocols restrictions due to the Alert Level 2 status of Davao City has allowed more movement in establishments, where seniors and minors are already allowed entry, the lifting of curfew hours, modification of the liquor ban, and the removal of the mandatory barriers in public utility jeepneys and motorcycles. The test-before-travel in sea, air, and land travels were also lifted.

Mayor Duterte said, “From low risk, ang atoang numbers karon na ginatan-aw na mga indicators sa Department of Health, nagapakita na sya og minimal risk. This is a lower classification than low risk. But magremind lang pud ta sa tanan natong mga kaigsoonang Dabawenyo, if we continue to disregard kini atong minimum public health standards, particularly gyud kaning mask and mass gathering naa napud gyuy surge nga mahitabo sa umaabot na bulan o adlaw (From low risk, our numbers that are seen as indicators by the Department of Health show a minimal risk. This is a lower classification than low risk. But we are reminding our fellow Dabawenyos, if we continue to disregard the minimum public health standards, particularly on wearing face masks and avoiding mass gatherings, we would expect a surge in the coming month or days).”

Mayor Duterte said some countries with high vaccination rates still have outbreaks and surges although some have not achieved target herd immunity yet.

Based on what happened in the past, a new surge may be fueled by mass gatherings, the waning effect of vaccines, and the new Omicron variant. The Omicron, according to her, is what’s fueling the COVID-19 surge all across Europe.

The top chief executive added, “Kana ang mga posibleng hinungdan sa umaabot na surge nato. So important naa gihapon emphasis pagsuot og mask ug paglikay sa daghang tawo (These are the possible causes of a looming surge. It’s important to emphasize the use of face masks and avoiding crowded places).”

Omicron variant cases were detected in South Africa, Botswana, Belgium, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Germany, Israel, Italy, the Czech Republic, and Hong Kong.

The mayor also said that compliance with the MPHS is not only limited to malls but also offices, restaurants, and public utility vehicles.

The City Government of Davao, Mayor Duterte said, will strictly implement the MPHS and prevent any mass gathering that is not allowed by the IATF and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) guidelines under Alert Level 2.

Mayor Duterte said, “Magremind lang ko sa tanang kaigsoonan natong Dabawenyo, dili lagi mo magsige og tapok kay ang tapok mao lagi na ang hinungdan magtinakdanay. Wala ko kahibalo ngano wala mo kasabot na dapat magbulag-bulag ta karon sa panahon sa pandemya. Pero magpahinumdum gihapon mi sa inyoha na bisan pa man og makita ninyo nga gamay nalang gyud kaayo ang atong COVID-19 cases, kinahanglan gihapon na magsuot og mask. Magpalayo ta sa ubang tao ug pirmi paniguraduhon nga limpyo atong kamot, maghugas ta gamit ang sabon og tubig o di ba kaha alcohol (I’m reminding all Dabawenyos to avoid gathering together as it is the cause of transmission. I don’t know why you can’t understand that we have to maintain distance during this time of the pandemic. But we will still remind you that even if we only have a few COVID-19 cases, it is important to wear masks. Stay away from other people and make sure to keep your hands clean, washing through soap and water or alcohol).”

She also urged Dabawenyos to get vaccinated if they haven’t decided yet as it can help them reduce the risk of severe or critical COVID-19 infection or succumbing to the disease.

On Sunday, November 28, only one new case was reported in Davao City for a total of 164 active cases. Of the 53,579 COVID-19 cases since March 2020, 51,813 have recovered and 1,782 have died.CIO