Friday, May 14, 2021

Cops to keep tight watch on festivals to curb Covid-19 spread

PHILIPPINE NATIONAL  Police (PNP) chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar on Friday ordered police commanders to keep a tight watch on festivals that may become a superspreader event amid the prevailing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.  

Alam naman natin na kapag piyesta, nariyan ang mga handaan, mga aktibidad sa simbahan at iba pang mass gatherings. Nakagawian na natin ito at bahagi ng tradisyon pero bawal pa rin po ito hangga’t narito ang banta ng Covid-19 (We know that during fiestas, there are lots of food, church activities and other mass gatherings. These are part of our culture and tradition but these remain prohibited until the Covid-19 threat remains) Covid-19,” Eleazar said in a statement.

Eleazar emphasized that police officers will no longer issue warnings to violators as these minimum public safety health protocols, including the prohibition on mass gatherings, have been implemented since last year.

“I am directing the police commanders to strictly monitor happenings in your AORs. Napakahalaga po ang inyong papel para mapigilan natin ang mass gatherings o mga potential super spreader events ngayong panahon ng piyesta (Your role is vital in preventing mass gatherings or other super spreader events especially during this time of fiestas),” he added.

This came after President Rodrigo Duterte, in his pre-recorded address on Thursday night, urged Filipinos to forego fiesta celebrations as many of these are held during the month of May.

Duterte said he would not tolerate any individuals who will defy the existing health and quarantine protocols imposed by the government to avoid another surge in Covid-19 infections.

“Be mindful of that because we are still in a pandemic and there is no way of knowing how long this would last in this planet. I will not allow the violations of the guidelines given by the (Inter-Agency Task Force),” he said.

He also reiterated that he would punish accountable local officials who would fail to enforce the minimum public health standards. (By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan)

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