DAVAO CITY – With the mad rush for Christmas shopping as COVID-19 protocols have eased, the city mayor can only remind owners of shopping malls and establishments to observe health safety standards.
Davaoeños called out the attention of Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio as an influx of people are seen in malls and establishments offering holiday sales from food to essential items. They also expressed concern as some even tag their children along with them in malls.
Residents fear such events become a super spreader for the COVID-19 especially with news of a new omicron variant.
But in her Special Hour program last Monday on Davao City Disaster Radio, Mayor Duterte-Carpio said restrictions are eased based on the guidelines of the the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases which placed Davao City under Alert Level 2.
She said the city government can only restrict activities and operations under the city government which include the Roxas Night Market, parks and playgrounds.
But the mayor said she cannot interfere with private establishments.
“But if the activity is initiated by the private sector wala tay problema ana (we have no problem with that). So kung naay right ang private sector, kung naa silay kanang pagtapok sa mga vendors asa mamaligya (they have rights if they want to gather vendors to sell),” she said.
Duterte-Carpio clarified that “the government will participate but will allow the private sector” to organize events allowed under Alert Level 2.
She said the public should just follow the minimum public health standard (MPHS) like wearing of masks, observe social distancing and wash hands frequently in public places.
Davao City has recorded 112 active cases as of December 7 as reported by the Department of Health Region 11. Since the start of the pandemic last year, Davao City had had 53,823 COVID-19 patients with 1,784 deaths.
The Davao City Police continues to fine violators of health protocols. It has reported 71,289 violations from July 16 to December 1 of this year, with 3,137 cases already filed in the court.
Of the total cases, 10,247 persons were arrested for violating the curfew and liquor ban (223), violations on social distancing/mass gathering (18,053), converging (13,297), failure to put motorcycle protective barrier (4,756), not wearing face mask (25,145), and face shield in public places (17,621).