Mayor Sara Duterte cancels Araw ng Dabaw events amid novel coronavirus scare
Robie de Guzman • February 10, 2020 • 593
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.
The Davao City Government will be enforcing new protocols for returning residents, including Davao-bound passengers to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the city.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte said they have begun implementing the COVID-19 ‘Test and Wait’ mechanism for returning Davao City residents, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), and the locally stranded individuals (LSIs).
“It means that we test them and let them wait in a holding area. When the results come out, they can go home for home quarantine,” she said.
Meanwhile, Duterte has requested the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to require all Davao City-bound passengers to submit a negative RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours of the departure date.
The Davao International Airport (DIA) resumed operations last June 8 and has been receiving OFWs, LSIs, and commercial flight passengers since it reopened.
The Davao mayor already raised concerns over the increasing cases of COVID-19. Based on reports, many of the cases are returning individuals from Manila. AAC
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte has called on residents to prepare for the possible return of the city to the general community quarantine (GCQ), which entails the observance of stricter health and movement restrictions.
Duterte made the call on Monday after receiving advance information from the National Inter-Agency Task Force that the city will be reverted to GCQ on Wednesday, July 15.
Malacañang earlier said that President Rodrigo Duterte may be announcing on Wednesday the new quarantine restrictions that will be implemented in various parts of the country after July 15.
Mayor Sara said she will be appealing to the IATF to reconsider the quarantine classification of Davao City which is currently under modified GCQ.
“Kung ma deny gihapon ang appeal nga magpabilin ta og MGCQ, may I request everyone nga duna tay July 2 nga version sa Omnibus Guidelines nga atoa lang i-review, pasadahan nato kung unsa tong GCQ para mahinumdom ta kung unsa atoang kinahanglan buhaton during a GCQ. So maayo nang mangandam ta daan for a status nga GCQ,” she said in an interview over the city-run Davao City Disaster Radio.
(If our appeal to remain under MGCQ is denied, I request everyone to review the July 2 version of our Omnibus guidelines, go over the guidelines under GCQ so we remember what we should do during a GCQ. We should get ready for a GCQ status.)
The latest version of the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines issued on July 2, 2020 include limitations of in-dining services to only 30 percent capacity, and prohibiting entertainment establishments like comedy bars and karaoke from operating, as well as mass gatherings with more than 10 people.
Davao City saw a continued rise in coronavirus cases in the past weeks. Based on the latest data from the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), Davao City has 162 active positive cases, the highest number of active cases since the Covid-19 outbreak started in March this year. The number of recoveries is at 382 and 35 deaths.
Given the still increasing cases and in the absence of anti-coronavirus disease vaccine, the public is reminded to stay at home except when buying food and medicine; wash hands frequently, social distancing, and wear masks whenever they go out of their homes.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte told local traffic management and law enforcers to observe “maximum tolerance” on the riders’ relationship when implementing the national policy on motorcycle back riding.
In a memorandum dated July 10, Duterte said a passenger should be allowed to ride pillion regardless of relationship to the driver as long as health safety requirements are followed.
Mayor Sara noted that in the memorandum from the Philippine National Police allowing the motorcycle back riding, riders are required to wear face mask and crash helmet and the use a barrier between the passenger and driver that covers the neck and does not extend beyond the top of the head of the driver.
The memo includes a photo of a sample wearable barrier that “is similar to a backpack.”
“In view of the above requirements, it seems that the relationship between the driver and the passenger is inconsequential given that these will be the same requirements that will be required for other individuals unrelated to each other. Please allow maximum tolerance in this regard,” Duterte said in her memo.
“Basta may barrier hindi na mag-ma-matter ang relationship ng driver sa passenger. In fact kung mag-rerequire ka ng barrier sa mag-asawa eh magsasama pa rin naman sila paggabi sa bahay at sa kwarto,” she said in a separate interview.
Mayor Sara said the wearable barrier is an alternative design that may be used in addition to the Bohol sample, referring to the makeshift protective shield design proposed by Bohol Governor Arthur Yap. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lucille Lloren)
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