DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 14 October) – Holiday revelers here may have to celebrate Christmas and New Year without alcoholic beverages as the local government is not inclined to lift the 24/7 liquor ban just yet.
Dr. Michelle Schlosser, spokesperson for Davao City COVID-19 Task Force, said over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Wednesday that the local government was not discussing to remove the ban, which has been extended until end-2021 by virtue of Executive Order (EO) 37 issued last August 2.
Section 1 of the EO provides that the liquor ban applies in all public places. The order likewise extended the implementation of the 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew until the end of this year.
“Inom na lang sa ta og kape (Let’s just drink coffee for now),” she said.
The liquor ban has been implemented since November 2 and the curfew since November 20, 2020, to control the transmission of COVID-19.
Last July 19, Mayor Sara Duterte ordered the police to intensify operations against the selling of intoxicating beverages in communities after the local government received reports that these are being sold at a much higher price amid the ban.
However, Schlosser acknowledged the possibility that some quarantine restrictions may be eased as soon as the city will achieve herd immunity and manage to bring down the number of cases. The city targets to vaccinate around 1.2 million people to achieve herd immunity.
As of October 6, the city government reported that 770,925 individuals have received the first dose and 646,248 the second dose of anti-COVID vaccines or 53.85 percent of the target herd immunity.
“If we can achieve herd immunity, definitely there will be changes in the health protocols. Our cases should be low. So, if we reach the point when herd immunity is achieved and our positive rate is low, there is a bigger chance that we can have a ‘Merry Christmas’ but, as of the moment, we cannot promise the public anything,” she said.
As of October 13, DOH-Davao recorded 170 new infections in the city, bringing the total cases to 51,974 with 4,639 active, 45,709 recoveries, and 1,626 deaths. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)