Lovers may celebrate Valentine’s Day in Davao but…

A flower vendor gets busy attending to orders of bouquets and special floral arrangements at the Agdao Public Market in Davao City in this file photo taken 14 February 2019. MANMAN DEJETO/MindaNews

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 22 January) – The city government will not prohibit the Valentine’s Day celebration next month amid a surge in new COVID-19 cases after the holidays, Dr. Ashley Lopez, Davao City Health COVID-19 focal person, said.

But Lopez reminded couples to strictly observe the minimum public health protocols as they go out on this special day to avoid exposure to the infection and worsening the situation.

“We took it up during our meeting. The Valentine’s celebration will push through, although we have to follow the precautionary measures… This is our new normal, and we have to be consistent in following the mitigations even on special occasions,” he said.

He warned there is higher risk of getting exposed to the virus in large crowds.

“There is a higher risk of transmission in gatherings because we have not yet put COVID-19 situation under control. We cannot identify who is positive and who is negative because we are up against an invisible enemy, which is the virus,” he added.

He said the mitigation measures, particularly physical distancing, will help slow down the spread of the virus.

He said local health authorities have already anticipated the post-holiday surge, which started last January 4, to last until mid-February.

As of January 21, the Department of Health (DOH)-Davao reported 240 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the total cases in the region to 15,696, with 2,583 active ones, 12,490 recoveries and 623 deaths.

Of the total cases, Davao City, which reported the highest COVID-19 incidence in Mindanao, tallied 10,768, with 1,552 active ones, 8,724 recoveries, and 492 deaths. Davao de Oro reported 777 cases, Davao del Norte 2,147, Davao del Sur 1,136, Davao Occidental 168, and Davao Oriental 700. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)