GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The city government has ordered the temporary stoppage of the operations of all cockfight arenas here after at least two residents who attended a recent derby have tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Mayor Ronnel Rivera said Friday the move was endorsed by the City Inter-Agency Task Force (CIATF) for the Management of Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases in the wake of the reported violations on the compliance to standard health protocols during cockfighting events.
He specifically cited the lack of safe physical distancing among cockfight participants and enthusiasts.
“We are recalling all the issued (business) permits as of the moment (for the cockfight arenas),” he told reporters.
Rivera said they will require all operators to submit their plans and adopted health protocols, and these will be assessed by the local government before they will be allowed to resume their operations.
In an advisory, the city government confirmed on Thursday that two attendees of a cockfight derby held at the Calumpang Gallera in Barangay Calumpang last Jan. 2 have turned out positive of Covid-19.
The CIATF, through the City Health Office, advised people who attended the event, especially those experiencing possible symptoms of the disease to seek assistance from their respective rural health units.
CHO and the contact-tracing team of Barangay Calumpang are currently tracking down the attendees and conducting validations on the exposure of the confirmed patients.
Geraldine Zamora, head of the City Permits and Licensing Division, said they already recalled the business permit of the Calumpang Gallera.
She said they deferred the release of its newly-renewed permit on Thursday due to the mayor’s directive.
The city government allowed late last year the resumption of the operations of cockfight arenas, provided that health protocols and other Covid-19 control measures are properly observed.
The move was backed by a resolution approved by the city council, which noted that such activity is permitted in areas under modified general community quarantine.
The confirmed Covid-19 cases in the city since March last year already reached a total of 1,495, with 66 related deaths, and 1,333 recoveries.
At least 20 new infections were recorded in the area on Thursday, increasing the city’s active Covid-19 cases to 96. (PNA)