Duterte urges LGUs to pass ordinances barring kids 12 and below from public areas | Inquirer News
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Duterte urges LGUs to pass ordinances barring kids 12 and below from public areas

/ 12:22 AM November 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte urged local government units on Monday to pass ordinances that would ban children aged 12 below from malls and other public spaces to protect them from possible COVID-19 infection.

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“Certainly, we cannot allow those below 12 years old or those who are still unvaccinated to be exposed to the risk of getting COVID-19 in public places,” Duterte said.

He noted that it was a recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases.

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“So remember that. Again, to the parents and guardians of minors who are unvaccinated, please [be] mindful of the risk.  Part of caring for them is thinking about their safety.  I hope no one among our children will get COVID-19,” Duterte said.

This was part of his reminder to the public not to be complacent despite the downward trend in COVID-19 infections, which has led to lower quarantine restrictions in most areas in the country, including Metro Manila.

Health experts had also started reminding people to continue observing health protocols after learning that more and more children were going outdoors while regulations like physical distancing and wearing face masks were being disregarded.

Duterte said he understood how parents were yearning to bring their children outdoors again.

But he said: “As we continue to reopen more establishments and allow more mobility to help our economic recovery, we still need to be cautious. I saw a recent report where a two-year-old child was tested positive for COVID-19 after visiting a mall.”

“I know that you parents would really want to take your children out after staying for so long inside your home due to lockdowns. But keep in mind that if your children are still young and not yet vaccinated, do not expose them to the virus,” he added, speaking partly in Filipino.

Commenting on the case of the two-year-old who got infected, the Department of Health (DOH) said that the cause of the infection was still uncertain, but it still urged parents to stop bringing their children outdoors.

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READ: Cause of toddler’s COVID-19 infection ‘uncertain, multifactorial’ — DOH 

READ: DOH cautions parents vs bringing children to malls

Over the past few weekends, netizens on social media took notice of the busier roads and the increased presence of children in public areas like malls, parks, and other places of leisure in Metro Manila since it was placed under Alert Level 2 last Nov. 5.

The government lowered the alert level in Metro Manila as it noted a sharp decrease in COVID-19 infections, compared to the surge last August and September, most of which was caused by the Delta variant.

However, DOH officials and health experts have warned against being too relaxed, as the pandemic’s threat along with other variants — like the Delta subvariant — is still present.

Last Nov. 8, DOH said it had detected the B.1.617.1 COVID-19 variant in Pampanga — the strain formerly known as the Kappa variant, which was designated by the World Health Organization as a variant under monitoring.

RELATED STORIES

Children now allowed out under Alert Level 2 in Metro Manila

Complacency under alert level 2 worries DOH

PH records first B.1.617.1 COVID-19 variant case in Pampanga 

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TAGS: banning children from public areas, covid-19 protocols, Rodrigo Duterte
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