Avoid organizing events that draw huge crowds, DOH tells public

Published February 10, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Betheena Kae Unite

The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday discouraged the public from organizing or joining events that draw huge crowds in a bid to contain the spread of the 2019-novel coronavirus.

Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III (CZAR DANCEL / MANILA BULLETIN)
Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III (CZAR DANCEL / MANILA BULLETIN)

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III has strongly urged Filipinos to “avoid attending, participating in, and organizing events that draw a huge number of attendees.”

“The DOH likewise recommends the cancellation of such planned big events or mass gatherings until further advice,” the secretary said in an advisory.

Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo, however, clarified that the advisory was only to recommend that big gatherings like concerts or prayer rallies be postponed or canceled.

“The advisory was really directed at mass public gatherings for example concerts or big prayer rallies or big mass gatherings that draw a lot of people. So the DOH recommends to may be postpone or cancel these events,” Domingo said.

“But for controlled gatherings where you can take precautionary measures, you can always push through with them and these are always just recommendations it’s not like it’s illegal to hold a meeting or to hold a convention especially if you can take precautionary measures,” the official said.

The department confirmed that there has been no reported community transmission in the country at present and they attribute this to the level of awareness Filipinos have.

“So far we’ve seen that there is no community transmission yet and the public is very aware. They really know and they watch over themselves,” Domingo said.