Let’s have solemn Xmas, forego big gatherings: DOH chief

Let’s have solemn Xmas, forego big gatherings: DOH chief

MANILA – Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Tuesday reminded the public to refrain from celebrating Christmas and New Year with activities that have higher risks of Covid-19 transmission, including karaoke singing which is a usual Filipino activity during celebrations.

He urged Filipinos to celebrate Christmas meaningfully by spending more time with their families.

“For a change, let us opt to have a solemn celebration with joyful Christmas songs from our favorite artists played on radios or online music platforms,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.

“Kung tayo ay nagsasalita, meron pa tayong nae-emit na respiratory droplets. Mas marami ito kung tayo ay kumakanta o sumisigaw kaya po inirerekomenda namin na iwasan muna ang pagka-karaoke (When we talk, we emit respiratory droplets. A lot more is emitted when we are singing or shouting that’s why we recommend refraining from karaoke singing). According to a recent study published in the Aerosol Science and Technology Journal, loud singing increases viral particle spread by 448 percent compared to normal talking,” Duque said.

Duque also called on local government chiefs to strictly enforce and implement the minimum public health standards in their localities such as wearing face masks and shields, regular handwashing, and observing one-meter physical distance to avoid contracting or transferring the virus.

Despite seeing a continued downtrend of new Covid-19 cases, Duque reminded the public to remain vigilant, especially during the holidays.

“Hinihiling ko po sa inyong lahat na iwasan muna natin ngayong Kapaskuhan ang mga karaoke parties at mga malalaking salu-salo para tuluyang makaiwas sa virus at mapigilan ang lalong pagkalat nito. Munting sakripisyo lang po ito para sa kaligtasan natin sa pagdiriwang ngayong Pasko (I ask everyone to refrain from karaoke singing this Christmas, as well as big gatherings so that we can curb the spread of the virus. A little sacrifice for our safety this holiday season),” Duque said. (PNA)

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