Mayor Belmonte warns: Drinking sessions are 'superspreader' events

Published June 2, 2021, 11:13 AM

by Allysa Nievera

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte urged city residents to avoid social gatherings such as drinking sessions among families, friends, and neighbors saying these are “superspreader” events that transmit the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

A recent drinking session and wedding in Brgy Matandang Balara in Quezon City and an improvised pool party and drinking sessions in Brgy Nagkaisang Nayon in the city became “superspreader” events for COVID-19.

“This is what we want to prevent — COVID-19 positive individuals infecting others in social gatherings without minimum health standards being observed. This is why we keep reminding people that gatherings such as inuman sessions are still strictly prohibited,” Mayor Joy Belmonte said.

A total of 69 residents of Barangay Old Balara tested positive for COVID-19 while 25 others who were tested are still waiting for their test results.

In the Barangay Nagkaisang Nayon event, 55 residents tested positive for COVID-19.

A total of 88 cases have been confirmed in the following areas: Del Mundo St. in Barangay Talipapa; an area in K-10th St., Barangay East Kamias; an area in Harvard St. in Barangay E. Rodriquez; Manggahan Citizen St., Interville III in Barangay San Agustin; Area 5 in Barangay Capri; Labordo Compound in Barangay Tandang Sora; Area 7, Luzon Ave., in Barangay Matandang Balara; and an area in Geronimo St., in Barangay Sta. Monica.

Index cases in eight out of the 27 areas under granular or special concern lockdown were found to have been infected in drinking sessions within their areas.

“We are doing our best to control our numbers and yet some individuals continue to violate our protocols. We do not condone this disastrous behavior and will immediately impose legal sanctions on all those involved,” Mayor Belmonte said.

Around 1,017 families are under lockdown and are undergoing swab testing.

On May 20, cases in the special concern lockdown areas have reportedly decreased to as low as 16. But after the superspreader events, the cases have risen to 29 as of June 2.

Residents and organizers of public gatherings who violate RA 11332, the “Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act” or any of the city’s ordinances will be given ordinance violation receipts (OVRs), show-cause orders, or be slapped with cases if proven not to have implemented proper health protocols.

“We encourage our residents to call out their neighbors and report these matters to us so that we can police these areas. It is our collective duty to stop the spread of this virus,” Belmonte said.

The city government also issued a set of guidelines to ensure the strict observance of minimum health protocols in humanitarian activities by both public officials and the private sector.