Joint Task Force COVID Shield commander Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar (File photo)
MANILA – Joint Task Force COVID Shield commander Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar on Sunday said he supports a proposal to ban caroling this Christmas season to prevent further transmission of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Eleazar said he understands that caroling has always been part of the Filipino tradition, but the country is now facing different situation due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are facing a serious threat of coronavirus disease and we in the JTF COVID Shield believe that it is in the health interest of everybody if we could just stay home and enjoy the yuletide season with our family,” he said.
Eleazar said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has yet to decide on the proposal.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, who is also vice chairman of the National Task Force on Covid-19, also supports the caroling ban this year.
“Based on studies and statistics, the spread of Covid-19 is more likely to occur in mass singing like choir and caroling because singers have to remove their masks as they sing and viruses are released through aerosols,” Año said.
Año said he would recommend the ban on caroling nationwide.
In coordination with Philippine National Police chief Gen. Camilo Cascolan, Eleazar directed police commanders to coordinate with their respective local government unit (LGUs) with regard to caroling.
If the caroling ban is approved, Eleazar said parents should explain to their children why there is a need to skip the traditional caroling at least for this year.
He said children are considered as the most affected by the community quarantine rules since they could no longer do what they used to enjoy before the pandemic like going to school, playing with fellow kids and even going to the mall.
As of Saturday, the Philippines has 393,961 recorded Covid-19 cases with 350,216 recoveries and 7,485 deaths. (PNA)