IATF suggests banning Christmas caroling amid pandemic

Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) suggests banning Christmas amid the threats of COVID-19 during the holiday season.

Based on Raffy Tima’s report on GMA News TV “Balitanghali” on Thursday, Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba proposed banning Christmas caroling.

“Karamihan kasi ng carolers namin dito, they are not even from our place. ‘Yung pagpupunta nila from one house to the other, natatakot kami doon because it might cause the upsurge of COVID cases,” Mamba said.

The governor added that there are very few COVID-19 cases in their province compared to other places in the country and want to keep it low.

According to Mamba, LGUs can issue an order, but it is different if the order comes from the IATF itself.

“At least they know that there is a medical and scientific basis of what we are trying to ask dahil ang hirap nito eh, it’s a… tradisyon ito eh na ginagawa every year,” said Mamba.

IATF chief implementer and czar Secretary Carlito Galvez supported Mamba’s proposal.

According to Galvez, he will include it in the IATF talks. However, such an order can be issued if the governor wishes to ban Christmas caroling.

IATF suggests banning Christmas amid pandemic

“It is the prerogative of the LGU because we have said, the Local Government Executives are the most knowledgeable people that can protect their constituents, what is best for them,” said Galvez.

Earlier, the Metro Manila mayors agreed to ban Christmas Parties this year due to the pandemic.

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

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

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

The is also a high-risk 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.