Davao City prohibits trick-or-treat, other holiday events amid pandemic
Robie de Guzman • October 22, 2020 • 298
No community events, parties, and other similar gatherings in all government and private offices and establishments will be held in Davao City especially during the holiday season, the local government announced Thursday.
In an advisory, the city government said the prohibition includes trick-or-treating, which is a traditional event of western countries adopted by some Filipinos during Undas period.
The measure will be implemented after health officials and infectious disease experts noted that conducting office or community events increase the transmission and risk of contracting the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“Davao City, just like the rest of the world, continues to face the threat of the pandemic. Cases are still surging and it is feared that more and more deaths will happen if the unnecessary gathering of people is allowed,” the advisory read.
The city government reiterated its appeal to residents to stay home and avoid areas where people converge to avoid exposure and transmission of COVID-19.
It also encouraged residents to celebrate the holidays with their families intimately, use online shopping for groceries, food delivery services, and other contactless services to avoid unnecessary exposure.
Instead of spending money on a grand party celebration and risk contracting the virus, residents are urged to share grocery items with a family in need, the city government added.
“This year, celebrations will only be truly special and meaningful if you, your family, and everyone in our communities are healthy and safe,” it added.
The city government likewise advised residents to think twice before leaving their homes to attend parties, dinners, and other events that are not necessary or urgent, and always consider their own families’ safety and other people in the community.
As of Oct. 21, Davao City has recorded a total of 2,851 COVID-19 infections, of which, 671 are active cases. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lucille Lloren)
MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has deployed a medical contingent to Davao City to augment efforts against the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and to increase the health system capability of the city.
The AFP Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) on Wednesday confirmed the arrival in the city of the medical teams which are composed of doctors, nurses and corpsmen from the military Health Service Command.
LtGen. Jose Faustino Jr., commander of AFP EastMinCom, said they will provide billeting, security, and service support for the contingent during their deployment as Davao City is under the command’s area of responsibility.
The AFP sent medical teams after Davao City was classified as “restricted local government unit” due to the surge of COVID-19 cases in the area.
Faustino said the same medical contingent responded to Cebu when it recorded high number of coronavirus infections sometime in June to August.
“Together with the personnel from the AFP General Headquarters, Eastmincom marches forward in helping the government address the Covid-19 pandemic. We continue to provide troops in the frontlines with an unwavering passion to make sure that our forces are visible in every aspect of the health response,” he said.
Aside from providing medical support, AFP personnel will also assist in manning checkpoints, quarantine facilities and provide transportation facilities.
“Since day one, our troops have been manning the quarantine checkpoints, providing transportation services, and assisting quarantine facilities and will continue to do so to see to it that our medical frontliners are not alone in this battle,” Faustino said.
Faustino also said that the AFP has prepared standby teams to be deployed to other areas with high COVID-19 caseloads. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)
MANILA, Philippines – Areas with high cases of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) such as Metro Manila, Davao, and Cebu will be prioritized in the distribution of the vaccine once it becomes available, National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said.
Galvez said this is part of the government’s strategy for the conduct of COVID-19 mass immunization in adherence to the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to prioritize the poor and government frontliners in the vaccination.
During a meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) in Davao City on Monday, Galvez said they will employ two strategies in the distribution of the vaccine – geographical and sectoral.
Once the infected areas have been selected, vaccines will then be distributed to the target beneficiaries.
The vaccine czar expressed confidence that this strategies will help the country contain the spread of the virus and recover from economic losses due to the pandemic.
“And then from geographical magiging sectoral. Meaning, kung sino ‘yung priority natin ‘no, for example sa Manila, ‘yung urban poor uunahin po natin ‘yon; ‘yung mga vulnerable uunahin po natin doon; ‘yung mga sundalong naka-assign sa NCR uunahin po natin at saka po ‘yung mga essential workers,” Galvez said.
“Iyon po mayroon pong impact ‘yon kaagad sa ating economy at may impact kaagad na ma-contain po kaagad. So ang strategy po natin, Mr. President, po is geographical, priority ang NCR, priority ang Davao dahil ang Davao po ngayon umaakyat din, priority ‘yung Cebu, priority po ‘yung mga Bacolod, ‘yung mga tinamaan po ng mabibigat ng COVID,” he added.
Immunizing areas with high number of COVID-19 infections will help the government in its assessment on the efficacy of the vaccines, according to Galvez.
So far, several vaccine developers are set to conduct clinical trials in the Philippines. These include Sinovac, Hansen, Johnson & Johnson, Gamaleya, AstraZeneca, and CanSino.
Duterte earlier allowed the release of advance payment to companies developing potential COVID-19 vaccine to secure the country’s supply as recommended by Galvez.
With the president’s approval, the vaccine czar said the government can now proceed with Advance Market Commitment and start negotiating with big pharmaceutical companies such as China’s Sinovac, AstraZeneca, and Pfizer.
He added that the government can secure advance commitment with Astra Zeneca for 20 million doses this month.
Galvez earlier projected that the vaccine supply can be made available by the second quarter of 2021 once an agreement has been signed.
The Philippine government previously said it is looking at multilateral financing institutions such as the World Bank (WB) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to finance vaccine procurements.
Local banks such as the Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines are also possible sources of funds.
MANILA, Philippines – Davao City has reverted to general community quarantine (GCQ) following the increase of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the city, Malacañang announced Friday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Davao City will be under GCQ beginning Friday, November 20 until November 30.
A one hospital command center will also be established in the city to ensure an “efficient referral system” as private hospitals are mandated to increase their ward bed occupancy up to 30%.
“Further, efforts will be made to address the shortage of nurses in health facilities and to provide additional high-oxygen cannulae, Favipiravir (Avigan), Remdesivir, medical equipment, among others,” Roque said in a statement.
“Accommodation establishments will be tapped to serve as quarantine facilities for health workers as well as the isolation of positive cases of COVID-19,” he added.
Law enforcement agencies are likewise directed to assist in the enforcement of granular lockdowns upon affected communities or clusters, and if necessary, deploy personnel in the city.
Melquiades Feliciano, deputy chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 for the cities and Bacolod and Cebu, has been assigned to head the teams to be deployed in Davao City to assist in the response activities.
Data from the Department of Health Region 11 showed that as of Nov. 19, Davao City has recorded 5,520 COVID-19 cases, 1,874 of which are active.
The regional Inter-Agency Task Force earlier declared Davao City as a restricted local government unit which limits the movement and entry of travelers who will be visiting the city by either air, land, or sea to curb the rising coronavirus infections.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte issued Executive Order (EO) No. 63 which details the requirements and the list of authorized persons outside residence allowed entry to the city. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lucille Lloren)
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