Patient gets infected with COVID-19 after attending party in Davao

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 30 June) – Mayor Sara Duterte has reported that a patient in the city got infected with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) after attending a party in Calinan District here, urging the public to avoid inviting outsiders to their houses to celebrate special occasions.

During a live interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Monday, Duterte said Dabawenyos are not prohibited from holding modest celebrations but advised them not to invite relatives, friends, and neighbors who live from other households to their residences.

The mayor did not elaborate if the COVID-19 patient is still an active case and has infected other individuals.

“Do you know that we have a positive patient who got infected after attending a party in Calinan? Do you know it or not? We have a patient, based on case history, had attended a party in Calinan,” she said.

Duterte said these days are not the proper time to hold extravagant parties and invite other people to come over to their places since they risk contracting the dreaded infection.

She asked the people to practice precautionary measures such as celebrating special occasions among themselves in the household.

“The question is: Can you hold parties? Yes, you can hold parties inside your homes, and with people who live with you in your residences,” Duterte pointed out.

She said parties would fall under the classification of “leisure,” activities that are prohibited by the COVID-19 Interagency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

According to the Department of Health-Davao, there are 529 total COVID-19 positives in Davao Region: 411 in Davao City, 43 in Davao del Norte, 21 in Davao del Sur, 26 in Davao de Oro, 24 in Davao Oriental, and four in Davao Occidental as of June 29.

Last April 2020, Duterte released Executive Order 25, declaring April 17 to December 31, 2020, a period of mourning and vigilance, which prohibited extravagant celebrations here as the global deaths due to the highly infectious COVID-19 continue to rise.

In her EO, city and national government celebrations, parties, anniversaries, and festivities shall be cancelled; commemoration of important dates and legal holidays should be kept short and must be in somber tone; all barangays shall refrain from extravagant celebration of their fiesta while all founding anniversaries / araw ng barangay celebrations will be cancelled.

It added that private parties to mark personal or family milestones should be kept low key and modest, meaning a celebration in a public place with no more than 25 guests, while those who want to pursue big celebrations can do so next year.

The private sector is likewise advised to adhere to the requirements, recommending a food distribution, feeding program or financial assistance to their employees in place of grandiose celebrations to mark their important events, it said.

Duterte warned that the local government would take legal actions such as Article 25 of the Civil Code, which provides “thoughtless extravagance in expenses for pleasure or display during a period of acute public want or emergency may be stopped by order of the courts at the instance of any government or private charitable institution.”

“Even without the ‘mourning’, we would reach a point wherein there would still be no celebrations because that would be the basic requirement of the doctors that there should be no mass gathering. It is during mass gatherings that the virus can find the opportunity to spread,” she said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)