Filipinos were reminded that the reason behind allowing kids to go outside amid the deescalation of community restrictions is to give them an opportunity to exercise and interact with other kids, not to be brought to crowded places.
The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday, Nov. 15, reiterated this to caution the public against going to crowded areas with their young children.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire pointed out that while the country’s epidemic curve shows that cases further decreased by 15 percent this week, the public, especially parents, must remain responsible in keeping away their children from areas where transmission of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is possible.
“Kung kailangan lalabas at pumunta sa mataong lugar, ‘wag na isama mga bata (If you need to go outside and go to a crowded place, refrain from bringing the kids with you),” Vergeire said in a press briefing.
“Please remember, children were allowed to go out is because for them to exercise, get sunlight, interact with other kids. Not for them to be brought to crowded establishments like malls,” Vergeire stressed.
The health official also noted that children aged below 5 years old are not required to wear face masks which makes them vulnerable in crowded areas.
Establishments, on the other hand, must also regularly check their if they are indeed accommodating the allowed capacity set by the government.
“It should work both ways. Establishments must be able to comply with what was issued as policy of the IATF with regards to capacity. The local government units (LGUs) must also enforce the policies and the strict enforcement on the required capacity,” Vergeire said.
The undersecretary also said that the effects of the deescalation of restrictions will be determined in the next two to three weeks but the increase in mobility should already serve as a warning at this point.
“It should serve as a warning to all of us. If this will continue, the probability na tumaas kaso in coming weeks nandiyan (of increase in cases is there). Dapat lahat (All must be) very cautious, comply with minimum public health standards, LGUs and establishments must enforce protocols para ‘di na tumaas ang kaso (in order to avoid surge),” Vergeire said.
As of Nov. 15, the country, including Metro Manila, are at low risk classification. Only the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) remains at moderate case classification.