GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The city government called on residents here on Wednesday to celebrate Christmas and the coming New Year with “utmost caution” due to the continuing threats posed by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) local transmission.
Lawyer Arnel Zapatos, city administrator, warned that the risk of infection with the highly contagious disease remains high even as the active cases in the area have continued to decline since last month.
He said residents can still celebrate Christmas and New Year but should ease into the “new normal,” which requires sustained compliance to the necessary health protocols and control measures.
This includes the observance of the prohibition on the holding of mass gatherings like parties and buffet events, he said.
Zapatos said residents aged 15-years-old and below and 65-years old and above are not allowed to enter shopping malls and other establishments.
“It is still recommended for everyone to stay home and spend time with our families during the holidays,” he told reporters.
When going out in public, he said residents should comply with the “non-pharmaceutical” interventions like the wearing of face mask and face shield, observance of safe physical distancing, and regular hand sanitation.
He said the high compliance of these measures these past months has contributed greatly to the reduction of Covid-19 transmission in the city.
Based on the assessment of the City Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases, he said the number of active cases in the city dropped by about 90 percent mainly due to such factors.
“We’re hoping that all these pharmaceutical interventions that have carried us for the past 10 months and now lowering our cases and controlling the spread of Covid-19, will also work during this period,” he said.
The confirmed Covid-19 cases in the city since March already reached a total of 1,251, with 54 related deaths, but 1,116 or 89.2 percent of the patients have fully recovered as of Tuesday night.
The number of active cases so far dropped to 81, one of the lowest since the infections surged from late August to October due to local transmission. (PNA)