DOH cautions parents vs bringing children to malls
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday cautioned parents against bringing their children to crowded places such as malls since they don’t have the necessary protection against COVID-19.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the national government has allowed children to go out of their homes “for their health” so they can exercise outside, get sunlight, and interact with other children.
“Not for them to be brought to these crowded establishments like malls,” Vergeire said in an online media forum.
“Sana ‘yung ating mga magulang, ang ating mga guardians, ‘pag nakita natin na medyo masikip na ‘yung pupuntahan natin, ‘wag na natin isama ang ating mga anak para makaiwas sa mga ganitong mga sakit,” she added.
(I hope parents will be cautious. If they see that the establishment is crowded, they shouldn’t bring their children anymore to avoid getting sick.)
She said children below 5 years old are not required to wear masks when going out since they could have difficulty breathing.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 vaccination for minors only covers those aged 12 to 17.
“‘Pag dinala sa ganitong lugar, wala silang protection, katulad nating mga adult na pwede magsuot ng face mask,” she said.
(When we bring them to these establishments, they don’t have protection like adults.)
“Let’s try to be more cautious, lagi nating protektahan ang ating mga kabataan,” she added.
(Let’s always protect our children.)
Children have been allowed to go out of their homes and even go to malls when Metro Manila was placed under Alert Level 2 last week.
Families instantly flocked to malls to bring their children who have been cooped out for so long in their houses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vergeire said there has been no change in the DOH’s COVID-19 case monitoring and analysis, where the age group with the most infections remain to be at the 30 to 59 years old.
She said changes in the cases would be seen two to three weeks after the easing of restrictions.
Asked whether the health department would recommend placing restrictions on minors in malls, Vergeire said it is already on the authority of local government units.
She said LGUs as well as the establishments should strictly follow and enforce health protocols, especially the allowed venue capacity.
“There should be strict enforcement on the required capacity for establisments in Alert level 2,” she said.
Under Alert Level 2, establishments are allowed to operate 50% of venue capacity in indoor settings while 70% venue capacity for outdoor spaces.
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