Mayor Sara warns Christmas merrymaking to cause faster spread of virus

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 27 November) – Merrymaking during the upcoming Christmas holidays will likely speed up the surge in COVID-19 cases in Davao City early next year, Mayor Sara Duterte said.

Duterte raised the alarm during her live interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Friday, as she reminded residents to avoid inviting strangers, including relatives and friends from other households to their Christmas parties.

She said Christmas celebrations should be limited among family members who live in the same house to minimize the risk of contracting the highly contagious disease.

Christmas lanterns for sale in Davao City. MindaNews file photo by GG BUENO

“The World Health Organization issued a reminder, or maybe it was warning already, that merrymaking this Christmas celebration, will most likely contribute to the increase of cases by next year or first quarter of next year… It’s still the most secure and safest for us if we do not do house-hopping for Christmas parties and limit Christmas parties between members of the households,” she said.

She said residents can still do online meetups with friends for the holidays.

Duterte also appealed for compliance with basic health requirements and advisories from the WHO for the prevention of the spread of coronavirus.

“Anyway, our situation right now, this will just be for one or two Christmases possibly until Christmas of 2021 or until there’s pandemic, but this is not for all time, this is not forever… Might as well follow the reminders of the health experts particularly the World Health Organization… that partying or merrymaking especially merrymaking in other households will likely contribute to the increase of risk of transmission and increase of cases in the first quarter of next year,” she said.

She also told residents to only allow essential visits to their homes.

The city reverted to a general community quarantine (GCQ) last Friday until the end of this month.

The entire city was placed under enhanced community quarantine from April 4 to May 15, GCQ from May 16 until June 30, modified GCQ last July 1 until November 19, and GCQ again until November 30.

As of Nov. 26, Davao City reported a total of 6,113 COVID-19 cases, Davao de Oro 447, Davao del Norte 982, Davao del Sur 662, Davao Occidental 116 and Davao Oriental 424.

The entire region has 2,564 active cases, 5,844 recoveries, and 336 deaths.

Out of the 6,113 cases in Davao City, 2,049 are active, 3,785 have recovered and 279 died. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)