DOH cautions public in attending holiday activities

The Department of Health (DOH) cautioned the public in attending different activities during the holiday season amid the ongoing threats of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

DOH-Health Promotion Policy and Technology Unit head Rodely Carza in an forum, identified the holiday activities considered as “high-risk” for COVID-19 transmission.

Carza said one of them is “shopping in crowded markets, tiangges, Christmas bazaars, and shopping malls.”

The is also a of getting COVID-19 from “indoor gathering of a large group of people; and involves risky actions such as singing, shouting, dancing and the likes,” said Carza.

“Attending in-person religious activities held in indoor, enclosed spaces with the number of participants exceeding that of the recommended limit” is also considered as high-risk, the DOH official said.

He added “indoor gathering of a large group of people” as well as “gatherings involving singing, shouting, and dancing” during the can cause a high risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Meanwhile, “moderate risk” activities for the Christmas season are outdoor, small group gatherings where physical distancing is observed and are compliant with the restriction on mass gatherings.

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DOH cautions public in attending holiday activities

“Low risk” activities for COVID-19 transmission are attending masses, virtual gathering with family and friends not living in the same household, and for holiday gifts.

The DOH also released Department Circular No. 2020-0355 or the “Reiteration of the Minimum Public Health Standards for COVID-19 Mitigation during the Holidays.”

DOH suggests limiting the number of people attending certain gatherings or activities. The circular also recommends that the attendees of such must be from the same household.

The holiday activity should be kept as short as possible, the DOH said. Attendees must comply with the minimum health standards, such as wearing a face mask, keeping physical distance, avoiding contact with “high-touch” surfaces, and ensuring cleanliness.

As of November 5, the Department of Health has recorded 1,594 additional cases of COVID-19. Meanwhile, 468 recovered, and 42 died.

Of the total number of cases recorded in the country, 8.4% (32,773) were active cases, 89.7% (349,543) were cured, and 1.90% (7,409) died.