Parents urged to keep children indoors amid COVID-19 Delta variant fears
MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is urging parents and guardians to keep children indoors amid the rising number of COVID-19 Delta variant cases and while the Interagency Taskforce on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) studies the proposed suspension of the rule allowing children outdoors.
“Sa mga magulang po na nakikinig, sana maunawaan nyo, hindi pa ho natin alam ang ganap na epekto nito sa atin, kaya minabuti ng ating mga alkalde na temporarily, isuspinde muna ito ng IATF, para mapag-aralang mabuti,” MMDA chairman Benhur Abalos said over Teleradyo.
(To all parents, I hope you understand, we still don’t know the full effects of this to us, that is why the mayors asked IATF to temporarily suspend it so we could look into it.)
Earlier, Metro Manila mayors asked IATF to suspend the rule allowing children outdoors due to the detection of COVID-19 Delta variant cases in the country.
Abalos said they have already sent a letter to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III regarding the Metro Manila mayors’ proposal which was reached after seeking advice from health experts.
He insisted that the children should remain indoors as they are not yet vaccinated.
The Food and Drug Administration allowed Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 12 to 15, but the government has yet to roll out the vaccines for the said age group.
“Tandaan natin, ang mga anak natin ay wala pang bakuna, hindi natin alam ang epekto nito sa mga bata,” he added.
(Let’s keep in mind that our children are not yet vaccinated. We don’t know how it affects children.)
The IATF had earlier allowed children aged 5 years and up to visit selected outdoor facilities in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ.
Metro Manila is under GCQ.
The Metro Manila Council passed a resolution to identify outdoor areas where children are allowed, and impose a 50-percent capacity limit in the said venues.
“This is being done for our [children’s] safety,” Abalos said. “Sabi nga nila (As they say), an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.