Dabawenyos have failed in ‘self-regulation’ to control spread of COVID-19 – Mayor Sara

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 27 Oct) – If Mayor Sara Duterte were to assess the compliance of Davao City on basic health protocols, Dabawenyos have failed “self-regulation” following the spike in the number of confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases here.

Dabawenyos gather at an auction sale at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. MindaNews file photo by GG BUENO

The mayor expressed her frustration that despite her incessant reminders to the people to adhere to minimum health standards, there are still those who continue to violate them by going out for “non-essential activities” such as going to gatherings or meeting friends in public places.

“The people have forgotten that there is a community quarantine. Therefore, all of us should stay at home, except for essential goods and services, or for work and business. What’s happening now is that a lot of people are going out—they gather outside and catch-up there at coffee shops. There goes our self-regulation. Failed. Davao City has failed,” Duterte said during her live interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Monday.

Duterte released Executive Order 57, regulating “mass gatherings and prohibiting non-essential travel within Davao City and for other purposes until December 31, 2020.”

“There is a need to limit the movement of the people in Davao City to accessing essential goods and services or for work or business—work also includes business—but only in keeping with the purpose of the community quarantine,” she said.

“Aerosol transmission can occur in specific settings, particularly in indoor, crowded and inadequately-ventilated spaces where the infected person and persons spend long periods of time with other persons,” the mayor pointed out.

She said transmission of the virus could happen during choir practices, and in restaurants, fitness gyms, night clubs, offices, and places of worship, necessitating to regulate mass gatherings as these are potential “super spreaders.”

As of October 26, the Department of Health-Davao reported 4,771 cases with 1,096 active, 3,504 recoveries, and 171 deaths.

Of the total, 3,231 were reported in Davao City, 280 in Davao de Oro, 515 in Davao del Norte, 330 in Davao del Sur, 96 in Davao Occidental, and 319 in Davao Oriental.

Duterte reimposed the curfew and liquor ban from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. last October 15, until December 31 of this year to control the movement of the public for “non-essential” activities.

Last October 23, the local government here also released Executive Order 56, for the adoption of “other alternative work arrangement” (OAWA) or a combination of the skeleton workforce, work-from-home, and staggered working hours, in public and private offices until the end of this year.

It also directed heads of offices to ensure the OAWA will comply with the 40-hour workweek requirement of employees and other workers. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)