Mayor Duterte orders closure of beaches, inland resorts during Holy Week

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 29 March) – In line with the efforts to prevent the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from further spreading in the city, Mayor Sara Duterte ordered Monday the temporary closure of beach resorts and inland swimming resorts during the Holy Week break from April 1 to 4.

In her regular program over the Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5), Duterte said that the closure order was issued to discourage people from converging for leisure activities during the long holiday to prevent the transmission of the virus.

She said that local health authorities don’t expect people to strictly follow basic health protocols, particularly physical distancing and the wearing of face mask, during leisure activities such as swimming.

According to her, the prevention and enforcement group of the response cluster of the Davao City COVID-19 Task Force has been working hard to prevent a “second wave” of COVID- 19 cases in the city.

“We need to prevent mass gatherings in beaches and inland water resorts during the long holiday weekend to prevent COVID-19 from further spreading,” she said.

Duterte did not discuss the sanctions against beach resort and swimming pool operators who would violate her order. But her Executive Order 19 provides that “all existing laws and ordinances shall be pursued against those who fail to follow” such order.

In issuing the temporary closure order, Duterte said they also wanted to avoid drowning incidents involving minors, since the local government anticipates students to troop to resorts, despite the community quarantine, to take advantage of the school break.

The mayor advised Dabawenyos who have already planned their out-of-town travel during the Holy Week to stay at home.

“Our executive order cannot extend to areas outside Davao City, so we can only remind our Dabawenyo brothers and sisters that mass gatherings are the reason why COVID-19 is spreading fast. It’s better that during this Holy Week, we will just stay at home and avoid going to the resorts,” she said.

As of March 28, the Department of Health (DOH)-Davao Region reported 84 new cases, bringing the total to 21,447, of whom 924 are active, 19,607 have recovered, and 916 ending in deaths.

Out of the total, Davao City, which reported the highest COVID-19 cases in Mindanao, tallied 13,694 cases. Of these, 356 are active, 12,671 have recovered and 667 have died.

Davao de Oro reported 1,348 COVID-19 cases, Davao del Norte with 3,420, Davao del Sur with 1,447, Davao Occidental with 220 and Davao Oriental with 1,318.