Big crowds in campaign sorties a ‘cause of concern’ for DOH
MANILA, Philippines — Big crowds that gather during campaign sorties have been a “cause of concern” for the Department of Health, Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said on Saturday.
On February 8, the campaign for national candidates, who are running for the May 9 elections, officially started.
READ: The race is on, campaign season for national posts kicks off
“This is really a cause of concern. Ang lagi po nating tatandaan even though ang cases natin ay bumababa na, tatandaan po natin that the virus is still here. The variants are still here, hindi lang po Omicron, nakakapag-detect pa rin ho tayo ng Delta variant dito sa atin although mas marami na talaga ang Omicron,” Vergeire said during the Laging Handa public briefing, adding that mass gatherings remain prohibited.
(Let us remember, even though our cases are declining, the virus is still here. The variants are still here, not only Omicron, we are still detecting Delta variant cases, although there are more Omicron cases.)
“But we have seen that these campaign sorties have resorted o nakapag-produce ng mga ganito kadaming (or produced these) gatherings,” she noted.
Vergeire reminded the public attending campaign rallies to take caution as they could contract diseases.
“At gusto lang ho namin magpaalala sa ating mga kababayan na pumupunta sa mga ganitong gatherings, mag-iingat po tayo dahil maaari pa rin po tayong makakuha ng sakit dulot niyan,” she warned.
(We want to remind our fellow citizens who attend gatherings to take care because they can get infected there.)
The health official requested the local governments to monitor the said activities.
“Pinapaalalahanan natin ang (We also remind our) local governments, tulungan po natin ang (let us help our) national government to enforce and to monitor these kinds of activities so that we can prevent further increase in cases if ever,” said Vergeire.
She likewise called on candidates to set as an example to observe safety protocols.
“And to our campaigners, ‘yun pong ating mga kandidato, sana po tayo po ‘yung maging modelo para maipakita natin sa mga tao na dapat tumutupad po tayo lahat sa safety protocols,” Vergeire said.
(And to our campaigners, our candidates, let us be a model to show the people to follow safety protocols.)
Recently, independent pandemic monitor Octa Research gave tips on how to prevent superspreader events in campaign rallies.
Octa Research Guido David suggested that political events be held outdoors or in well-ventilated areas, attendees must wear a face mask, and ideally, they must be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Campaign for local candidates will start on March 25, the Commission on Elections earlier said.
READ: Comelec releases calendar for 2022 polls; COC filing set on Oct. 1 to 8
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