By Analou De Vera
The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Thursday assured the public that precautionary measures will be put in place during the nationwide mall sale that starts on Sunday (March 1) amid the 2019 coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) scare.
“We released a joint statement with the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)…so we’re saying that public gatherings are okay as long as precautionary measures by the DOH are observed,” Tourism Assistant Secretary Howard Lance Uyking told reporters.
Uyking said some mall establishments are now starting to conduct temperature checks on people entering such places. “So if you have fever, which I think is the main symptom of COVID-19, hindi kayo papapasukin sa malls (you will not be allowed to enter the mall).”
“So again, public gatherings are okay and we are confident naman kasi (because) right now we don’t have any local transmission. ‘Yung mga countries na madami ng cases ng COVID (The countries with high number of COVID cases), we’ve already put a temporary ban. So they can’t come here anymore.
“I just want to say that it’s been safe. It has been more than two weeks since the last (confirmed) case and itong mga (and these) cases na ito ay hindi locals (were not locals), so there’s no local transmission,” he added.
The DOT said the shopping festival will run until March 31 in partnership with different malls and associations nationwide.
During the shopping festival, shoppers can expect discounts from 15 to 70 percent on different Philippine-made products and services including food and dining, jewelry and fashion, crafts, furniture and decor, and beauty and wellness. Affordable airfares and cheaper hotel accommodations will also be featured at the event.