DOH pushes for online celebration of Christmas season amid COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday called on the public to make use of online activities for a safer celebration of the coming Christmas season due to the threat of COVID-19.
In a presentation during a DOH online press conference, Rodley Desmond Carza of the DOH health promotion bureau said online Masses are advisable for Simbang Gabi or the traditional evening or early morning Masses during the Christmas season because it lowers the risk of transmitting COVID-19.
Carza said there is a high risk of infection if people will physically attend Simbang Gabi in churches, especially “in enclosed spaces with a number of participants exceeding the recommended limit.”
For the celebration of New Year’s Day and Christmas Eve, Carza advised having dinner with family and friends who are living in the same house, and a virtual gathering for those not living with them in the same house.
He said “indoor gathering of a large group of people” as well as “gatherings involving singing, shouting, and dancing” during the holidays can cause a high risk of virus transmission.
As of Wednesday, the Philippines recorded 388,137 coronavirus disease cases, with 349,091 recoveries and 7,367 deaths.
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