DOH disowns NTC text blast on guidelines for Christmas parties | Inquirer News
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Says parties might become a 'superspreader event'

DOH disowns NTC text blast on guidelines for Christmas parties

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 04:01 PM November 27, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Despite restrictions in social gatherings, are Christmas parties allowed if the venue would be outdoors?

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The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), in a text blast, said: “May Christmas party? Buksan ang bintana at electric fan. Mas ligtas kung outdoor and venue. Maligayang Pasko? Kaya nation ‘to!

(Will you be having your Christmas party? Open the windows and electric fan. It is much safer if the venue is outside)

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The text message mentioned various agencies namely the Department of Health, Department of Information and Communication Technology, and the Healthcare Professionals Alliance Against COVID-19.

But Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Friday said the DOH has yet to release Christmas party guidelines.

The health department is still in talks for such guidelines to prevent confusion among the public.

“When we verified with the office in charge of this. Hindi pa ho kami nagpapalabas, so we just wonder why lumabas na agad dahil pag-uusapan po sana itong mga messages na ito para hindi nakakalito sa ating mga kababayan,” Vergeire said in an online forum.

(We have not released a message yet so we wonder why this is out already because we were still going to talk about it to avoid confusion among the public.)

“We are now trying to investigate kung saan galing at sino ang nakapag umpisa na makapaglabas na ito. DOH has not officially released this message yet because we wanted to further study it because it might cause confusion to our public,” she added.

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(We are trying to investigate when and where the emanated.)

Vergeire said the health department is recommending alternative activities during the holiday season to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.

“We all know that this might be a cause for a superspreader event, and we do not want for that to happen because it might cause further infection in the community,” she said.

It earlier called on the public to make use of online activities for a safer celebration of the coming Christmas season.

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, the DOH earlier said.

For the celebration of New Year’s Day and Christmas Eve, DOH 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.

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TAGS: Christmas party, DoH, NTC, online party, Probe, text blast
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