No tightening of curfew, liquor ban in Davao amid COVID surge

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 13 January) – There will be no reimposition of stricter policies on curfew and liquor ban in Davao City despite a new surge in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.

Davao City queue for COVID-19 vaccine, MindaNews file photo by MANMAN DEJETO

Executive Order No. 1 of Mayor Sara Duterte, dated January 12 but released on Thursday, extended the implementation of the modified guidelines on liquor ban and curfew from January 15 until June 30, 2022.

The order does not impose curfew in public places but bans the selling of liquors or any alcoholic beverages from 1:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. every day.

Section 3 of the order provides that serving of liquors is prohibited 24/7 in bars, restaurants, sari-sari stores, palengke (wet market), videoke houses, and other business establishments.

It also prohibits drinking of liquor in all public places, including but not limited to streets, alleys, pathways, and outside gates.

Liquor may be served and consumed only inside private properties.

As of January 10, the city government reported 1,247,949 individuals vaccinated with the first dose and 1,181,807 others who were fully vaccinated.

Department of Health (DOH)-Davao reported 243 new cases on January 12, bringing the total cases to 54,700 with 52,094 recoveries, 811 active, and 1,795 deaths.

Duterte said earlier that she would not reimpose stricter measures to control the transmission of COVID-19, including restricting the movement of unvaccinated individuals.

“I am pro-vaccination and boosters but, in this case, I cannot agree with the exclusion or restriction of the unvaccinated because we’re given the freedom to choose. If they are not given this freedom, we can lock them up inside their homes. But since we give them the freedom, why make it difficult for them,” she said.

Dr. Michelle Schlosser, spokesperson for the Davao City COVID-19 Task Force said during her program over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Wednesday that there is no reported case of Omicron variant in the city.

She, however, said the city is tackling the Delta variant of the virus.

She said the DOH-Davao submitted 4,000 specimens for whole genome sequencing last December 30 to detect other variants of COVID-19.

She said the result is expected to come out in three to four weeks.

“The whole genome sequencing takes time. Even without the result of whole genome sequencing, we are already anticipating that we will be battling Omicron soon… Based on studies, Omicron is 10x more transmissible. If you are scared of the high transmissibility of Delta, expect 10x more of it,” she said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)