By Genalyn Kabiling
To stay alive and healthy in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, people should strictly follow health protocols including safe distancing rule, Malacañang said Monday.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the appeal following concerns over the surge in visitors outside the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) to bike and exercise over the weekend.
The large gathering at the CPP grounds showed a violation of the government’s distancing protocol as a precaution against the pandemic, according to Roque.
“Ang solusyon po ng COVID-19 nasa atin – iyong paghuhugas ng kamay, iyong social distancing at pagsusuot ng mask (The solution so COVID-19 is in our hands — wash hands, practice social distancing, and wear masks),” he said during a televised press briefing.
“Iyong nangyari po sa Cultural Center, wala pong social distancing. Eh, kung gusto ninyo pong mabuhay nang mas matagal, iyan lang po ang tanging pamamaraan para mapabagal ang pagkalat ng sakit (There was no social distancing in the gathering at Cultural Center. If you want to live longer, that’s the only way to slow down the spread of the illness),” he said.
Roque also said the recent incident at the CPP grounds is now under police investigation.
“Well, sinabi po ng PNP leadership na iyong kanilang Southern Police District po ay tinitingnan na itong issue na ito at titingnan po nila kung mayroong dapat mapanagot dito (The PNP leadership said the Southern Police District is looking into the issue to determine whether there should be accountability),” he said.
Many people reportedly trooped to the CPP complex to engage in outdoor exercises over the weekend. Photos of the crowded area circulated on social media. It was unclear if anyone was cited for violating the physical distancing rule.
The police later announced plans to impose restrictions on the movement of people at the CPP complex, including limiting the number of those who can exercise in the area.
The government has allowed outdoor exercises such as walking, jogging, running, biking in areas under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified general community quarantine (MGCQ)). Minimum health standards such as wearing of masks and social distancing protocols must be observed.