Allowing Christmas parties this year not yet certain --DOH

Hundreds of people plunge into the cool water of Manila Bay at the breakwater in Macapagal Boulevard in Pasay City amidst the pandemic. (Photo by Ali Vicoy / MANILA BULLETIN)

The Department of Health (DOH) said it will have to monitor the trend of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the country before it would come up with a decision to allow the conduct of parties in time for Christmas in December.

“For now, we cannot say that we are certain that we will be allowing these parties by December,” said DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Friday, Oct. 15.

Vergeire said that COVID-19 transmission can happen in such activities.

“When we talk about parties, we know that this will comprise of gatherings, crowding, close contact, minsan enclosed po yung espasyo, at nandyan rin ‘yung posibilidad na maari rin po tayong magkasakit (sometimes the space is enclosed, and there is also the possibility that we may get sick),” she said.

Vergeire said that they have to closely monitor if the downward trend of COVID-19 cases will continue.

“So, ayun pa rin ang ating pinapaalala sa ating mga kababayan. Itong mga parties na ito siguro tignan natin kung talagang mag tutuloy-tuloy ang pagbaba ng ating mga kaso (So, that's what we are still reminding our citizens. With regards to conducting parties, maybe let's see if our cases really continue to drop) and slowly we can be able to go back to the usual things that we do,” she added.

On Friday, the DOH reported 7,625 new COVID-19 cases. Since Oct. 13, the daily number of new cases has been below 8,000.

The new cases on Friday pushed the total number of the country's running tally of cases to 2,705,792 wherein 2.9 percent or 78,999 remained as active infections, 2,589,386 have recovered, while 40,424 died.