MANILA, Philippines – Marketgoers still trooped to Divisoria in Manila on Monday despite appeals from authorities to limit their movement and observe strict health protocols amid the threat of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In a report in UNTV’s Ito Ang Balita by Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr., people packed Ilaya street in Divisoria where stalls were put up by the city government, not mindful of tarpaulins reminding shoppers to follow social distancing and other protocols.
Shopper Romer Camus admitted to having apprehensions at first in going to Divisoria but said he only had this time to buy some stuff in line with the upcoming holiday season.
November 30, Bonifacio Day, is a non-working holiday in the country.
“Natatakot at first pero naka-face shield naman kami, naka-face mask po. Tapos, yun nga po wala ng proper distancing po. Yun lang kasi kailangan talaga naming mamimili po. Tapos, bukas may pasok na rin kami,” he said.
Local authorities in Manila have been appealing to marketgoers to practice social distancing and to avoid conglomerating in a space.
However, they admitted to having difficulty in enforcing the protocols when the crowding of people becomes uncontrollable.
“Lagi naman ho namin silang pinapaalalahanan na magsuot ng face mask, face shield, at social distancing po. Yun nga po, hindi namin sila mapigilan,” said Manuel Villanueva, a barangay officer in Manila.
During the holiday season, many Filipinos go to Divisoria to buy goods that are sold at affordable prices. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)
The Department of Health (DOH) has recorded 1,773 COVID-19 cases, 44 recoveries and 18 deaths as of November 30, 4:00 p.m.
The total number of cases already reached 431,630; of which, 24,580 are active.
The number of total recoveries increased to 398,658; while the death toll reached 8,392.
Based on records, 7 duplicates were removed from the total case count where 4 patients are recorded to have already recovered.
Meanwhile, the DOH said there is no need to implement a Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) this holiday season.
However, DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III agrees with the report of the University of the Philippines (UP) OCTA Research that there is a slight surge in COVID-19 cases in the past two weeks.
“Hindi naman kailangan mangangahulugan mag-MECQ itong lalo na ngayong darating na holiday season mismo. Nguni’t tama iyong sinabi ng OCTA na mayroon ngang sa ngayon bahagyang tumataas ang kaso dito sa NCR (There is no need for an MECQ this coming holiday. Although [UP-OCTA- is right about the slight increase of [COVID-19] cases in the National Capital Region)” he said.
Duque said the surge in cases might have been due to the crowded evacuation centers during the typhoon.
He also said the GCQ implementation is already enough but further easing the quarantine restrictions would probably increase the risk for the public. AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)
MANILA, Philippines – National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. on Monday stressed the importance of enforcing physical distancing and other health protocols at events amid the coronavirus pandemic.
However, he admitted that there are times when physical distancing is difficult to impose when the crowding of people becomes uncontrollable during public events and other instances.
“I believe in some instances, like in evacuation areas and also in some programs, we cannot really dictate the situation because sometimes, the people tend to conglomerate and to really crowd themselves,” he said in a media interview.
Galvez made the remark after events attended by presidential spokesperson Harry Roque and Senator Manny Pacquiao were criticized for allegedly breaching health protocols.
Roque was spotted addressing a large crowd in Cebu last Friday while Pacquiao distributed relief goods to calamity-hit families in Batangas. Physical distancing was allegedly not observed in both events.
Galvez said that at times like this, they remind the people to follow health protocols prescribed by authorities to prevent COVID-19 transmission.
“We are trying to really indicate and advise our people to be very careful and observe minimum health standards,” he said.
Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año earlier said a fact-finding initiative will be launched into the events attended by Roque and Pacquiao for alleged violations of health protocols vs COVID-19. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
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