Davao COVID Task Force: Minors can be potential spreaders

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 17 Nov) – An official of the Davao City COVID-19 Task Force has warned parents to refrain from taking their minor children to the malls and other crowded places where they can possibly contract the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and become “potential spreaders” of the infection in their households.

Families take advantage of eased COVID-19 restrictions by flocking to malls in Davao City on Sunday, 14 November 2021. MindaNews photo by GREGORIO C. BUENO

Dr. Michelle Schlosser, Task Force spokesperson, said during her program “COVID-19 Alert” over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Wednesday that the threat of the pandemic continues even after the city noted a dramatic decrease in the number of confirmed cases.

She said the local government observed that parents and their children have been flocking to the malls after the alert level status of this city was downgraded to Alert Level 2 from Level 3 starting last November 15 until 30.

Schlosser said children, particularly those aged 11 years old and below, could likely catch the infection as they do not have “an extra layer of protection” through vaccination.

Among the population of minor children, only those aged 12 to 17 are permitted to receive the COVID-19 vaccines of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, the brands given with emergency use authorization (EUA) for this age group.

Alert Level 2, Schlosser pointed out, does not impose restrictions on the movement of people across all age groups.

But Schlosser told the parents or guardians that the minors have yet to develop their “sense of responsibility” to ensure compliance with the minimum public health standards, particularly the wearing of face mask properly and observing physical distancing.

She said health authorities hope that the parents would be more careful and vigilant in bringing their children to crowded or high-risk areas, limiting their movement to essential purposes.

DOH-Davao reported 15 new cases on November 16, bringing the total cases to 53,645 with 383 active, 51,492 recovered, and 1,770 dead.

She said the task force is discussing what it can do to enforce restrictions despite the minimum requirements in Alert Level 2, which lifted movement restrictions on vulnerable populations.

As of November 11, the city government reported 941,537 individuals jabbed with the first dose, of whom 1,489 were minors with comorbidities and 9,733 the rest of the pediatric population, and 866,098 with the second dose.

The city targets to vaccinate a total of 1.2 million people by the end of the year to attain “herd immunity.” (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)