DAVAO CITY – The city government here will not cancel the Valentine’s Day celebrations on February 14, despite seeing record-setting numbers of daily coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases due to the post-holiday surge, according to Davao City COVID-19 Focal Person Dr. Ashley Lopez.
But Lopez reminded couples to strictly observe minimum public health protocols as they go out on this special day to avoid exposure to the infection that will worsen the situation in the city.
“We took it up during our meeting. The Valentine’s celebration will push through, although we have to follow the precautionary measures… This is our new normal, and we have to be consistent in following the mitigations even on special occasions,” he said.
And while any public display of affection won’t be discouraged, mingling with large crowds will. Lopez warned that there was higher risk of getting exposed to the virus in mass gatherings.
“There is a higher risk of transmission in gatherings because we have not yet put COVID-19 situation under control. We cannot identify who is positive and who is negative because we are up against an invisible enemy, which is the virus,” he added.
He underscored the mitigation measures, particularly physical distancing, will help slow down the spread of the virus.
He said local health authorities have already anticipated the post-holiday surge, which started last January 4, to last until mid-February.
As of January 21, the Department of Health (DOH)-Davao Region reported 240 new cases, bringing the total cases to 15,696, with 2,583 active, 12,490 recoveries, and 623 deaths in the region.
Out of the total, Davao City, which reported the highest COVID-19 cases in Mindanao, tallied 10,768 cases, with 1,552 active, 8,724 recoveries, and 492 deaths. Davao de Oro reported 777 cases, Davao del Norte with 2,147, Davao del Sur with 1,136, Davao Occidental with 168, and Davao Oriental with 700.
Lopez said majority of the active cases in the city were asymptomatic and mild.