Mayor Sara Duterte cancels Araw ng Dabaw events amid novel coronavirus scare

Robie de Guzman   •   February 10, 2020   •   768

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte

MANILA, Philippines – Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte on Monday announced that major events lined up for the celebration of 83rd ‘Araw ng Dabaw’ will be canceled amid the threat of novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV-ARD).

In a social media post, Duterte said the move follows the February 7 advisory of the Department of Health against public gatherings.

“Thus, it is with a heavy heart that I have decided to cancel the following events of the 83rd Araw ng Dabaw celebration: Pasiugdang Pagsaulog, Reyna Dabawenya, Ginoong Davao, Sayaw Pinoy, Kalingawan sa Sta. Ana, Hudyaka, Mutya ng Dabaw, Pasidungog, Araw ng Empleyado, Kanta Bidabawenyo, Parada Dabawenyo, and the Datu Bago Awards,” she said.

Araw ng Dabaw is an annual city-wide celebration held in March. It usually draws a large crowd of locals and foreign tourists.

The mayor said that all preparations made for this year’s celebration will be executed in 2021.

She also said that beginning on Tuesday, February 11, all welcome and send-off groups at airports, seaports, bus terminals, and other transportation hubs are permanently banned “not only because of the virus but for reasons of safety and security.”

She added that only employees, workers, drivers, and passengers are allowed in these places.

“The novel coronavirus situation remains very fluid and there is still no answer when it will be stabilized or its spread across the globe be fully controlled,” Duterte said.

“We have seen an increasing number of people getting the infection worldwide. Our health care facilities in Davao City have limitations and we cannot possibly carry hundreds of sick individuals all at the same time,” she added.

As of Monday, February 10, Chinese public health authorities reported that the number of deaths due to the novel coronavirus has climbed to more than 900 in mainland China with 40,171 confirmed infections.

Duterte also directed the Department of Trade and Industry “to ensure that the price freeze memorandum of the DOH, the price tag, suggested retail price and other pertinent regulations on all goods and commodities are strictly implemented.”

“Business permits of stores caught selling overpriced items and hoarding food and other supplies shall be canceled and their establishment padlocked,” she said.

She called on the public to seek immediate medical assistance and refrain from going in and out of Davao City if they have sore throat, cough, fever, and other flu-like symptoms.

“Schools, offices and business establishments are advised to come up with guidelines to ensure that students and employees who are sick are not allowed entry to the school or workplace,” she said.

“While we have a health issue at hand, please DO NOT PANIC. Instead, report to the authorities and seek immediate and appropriate medical help,” she added.

Davao City records post-holiday surge of COVID-19 cases

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Davao City has recorded a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in the city two weeks after the holiday season.

According to Dr. Ashley Lopez, focal person of Davao City’s COVID-19 Task Force, they have recorded over 100 confirmed COIVD-19 cases daily which is almost double the number of daily cases recorded in the last two weeks of December.

“Since we are experiencing the post-holiday surge, by January 7 we reached 131 cases. Most of the following days from January 7 more than 100 cases are recorded daily,” he said.

Davao City recorded 1,144 new cases in the last 14 days according to the January 13 bulletin of the Department of Health (DOH).

Lopez also said the New Year surge would be expected by the third week of January.

He also called on Dabawenyos to be responsible and do their part  in preventing the further spread of the virus by strictly following the minimum health safety protocols. AAC

Galvez wants genome test on Davao City COVID-19 samples to check for new variant

Robie de Guzman   •   January 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The city government of Davao is set to submit specimens of patients with novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Metro Manila to check for the possible presence of new coronavirus variant amid the spike of new cases in the city.

Dr. Ashley Lopez, the city’s COVID-19 focal person, said vaccine czar and National Task Force (NTF) COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez issued the directive on Wednesday after seeing a worrisome uptick in new infections in the city.

Lopez said the specimens of COVID-19 patients recorded this month will be sent to the RITM for a genomic analysis.

While the increase in COVID-19 cases in the city could have been due to a post-holiday surge, he said authorities cannot discount the possibility that a new variant may have entered its borders through the porous backdoor channels in some areas in Mindanao, including Cotabato City, Zamboanga City, Sarangani Province and General Santos City.

Malaysia, the country’s closest neighbor, has already confirmed a case of the new variant.

Lopez said the Task Force Davao and the city’s Public Safety and Security Command Center have implemented stricter restrictions at the borders to regulate the entry of people.

Data from the Department of Health-Davao Region showed that from January 1 to 23, 2021 alone, Davao City recorded 1,222 new infections, which is 33% higher than the number reported from December 19 to 31, 2020. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lucille Lloren)



Sara Duterte leads Pulse Asia survey for preferred presidential bets for 2022 polls

Robie de Guzman   •   December 31, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte emerged as a possible top presidential candidate in the 2022 May elections, based on the result of the latest survey by Pulse Asia.

The survey, conducted on 2,400 respondents, showed that 26 percent of respondents said they would support Mayor Duterte.

“If the presidential election was held during the survey period, around one out of four Filipino adults, (26%) would vote for Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte as the country’s new chief executive,” Pulse Asia said.

Respondents in Mindanao (58%) and Visayas (29%) also expressed support for Duterte, according to the survey.

Tied at second place are former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., and Senator Grace Poe at 14% followed by Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso at 12%, and Senator Manny Pacquiao at 10%.

Vice President Leni Robredo also registered as presidential voter preference at 8%, followed by Senator Panfilo Lacson, and Christopher “Bong” Go both at sixth place with 6%.

In the vice presidential race, Domagoso topped the probable bets at 17 percent followed by Sara Duterte at 16%, and Senate President Vicente Sotto III (14%). Behind them are Marcos (11%), Pacquiao (11%), and Go (9%).

The survey was conducted from November 23 to December 2, 2020 using face-to-face interviews.

It was held after a series of storms that hit various parts of the country and caused massive flooding in the Cagayan Region, followed by the announcement of pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer and Moderna that their vaccines are more than 90 percent effective against COVID-19, the designation of Carlito Galvez Jr. as vaccine czar and the extension of the general community quarantine of Metro Manila, Batangas, Lanao del Sur, and Davao del Norte until 31 December 2020 due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the said areas. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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