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‘Boodle fights,’ ‘videoke’ lead to hike in COVID-19 cases in QC

Belmonte: Village execs who fail to stop 'unauthorized activities' face raps
/ 04:02 AM July 06, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — If the Philippine National Police has its “mañanitas,” some Quezon City communities caught Mayor Joy Belmonte’s attention with their “boodle fights.”

The classic Filipino feast where food is laid on a banana leaf and eaten with bare hands was one of several activities, including videoke sessions and birthday parties, that led to surges in new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in recent days, the local government said.

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These gatherings prompted Belmonte to warn barangay officials of legal action if they fail to strictly enforce guidelines that prohibited such activities, even under the more loose general community quarantine.

“We have been informed that most of the causes for the spread of COVID-19 cases in areas that were recently placed under special concern lockdown (SCL) were due to various unauthorized activities, which were regrettably preventable,” she said.

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“There were reports that residents in the said areas had drinking sessions, boodle fights, wakes that exceeded limitations in duration and number of attendees, and even played basketball and volleyball,” she added.

Village officials warned

Belmonte invoked the Department of the Interior and Local Government when she met with the heads of all 142 barangays in the city, saying the agency was constantly looking into how well they cooperated with city government regulations.

Failure to comply could lead to the filing of administrative cases against local and village officials, she stressed.

In a statement, Belmonte said the growing number of COVID-19 cases in SCL areas was an “alarming” trend that could take a further turn for the worse as the government continues extensive contact tracing and testing.

She told village officials to apprehend violators, patrol neighborhoods to disseminate information and enforce the city curfew between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

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TAGS: boodle fights, coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus Philippines, Joy Belmonte, physical distancing, quarantine violations, Quezon City COVID-19 cases, Videoke
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