Heed health experts’ advice on minors’ entry to malls, LGUs told

Heed health experts’ advice on minors’ entry to malls, LGUs told

MANILA – Malacañang on Tuesday advised the local government units (LGUs) to listen to the medical professionals when it comes to children’s safety amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

This, after President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday urged the LGUs to pass an ordinance that would restrict the entry of unvaccinated minors to malls to protect them from Covid-19.

In a virtual presser, acting Presidential Spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles expressed optimism that local chief executives would make a decision that would be “best” for children, especially those who have yet to get inoculated against the dreaded disease.

“So, ang panawagan po ni Pangulong Duterte (the appeal of President Duterte) is for LGUs to consider passing ordinances,” he said. “Tignan nila kung ano ‘yung pinakamabuti para sa kanilang mga local jurisdiction (They should look at the best option for their local jurisdiction).”

Nograles, however, acknowledged that LGUs’ decision would depend on the Covid-19 situation within their respective jurisdictions.

He hoped that local officials would decide based on “science” and the recommendations of health experts.

“Mas ini-empower natin ang mga LGU natin sa pagpili ng kanilang kailangang gawin para labanan ang Covid-19 sa kani-kanilang mga jurisdiction. Alam po natin na under this phase, kailangan po nating balansehin ang ekonomiya at ‘yung health protocols (LGUs are more empowered to undertake measures against Covid-19 within their respective jurisdictions. We know that under this phase, we need to balance the economy and health protocols),” Nograles said.

Parents and guardians have brought with them their children to malls in Metro Manila, after the country’s metropolis has been placed under the more lenient Alert Level 2.

However, a two-year-old child reportedly tested positive for Covid-19 after visiting a mall since the government eased restrictions on public movement in Metro Manila.

This prompted Duterte, in his taped Talk to the People delivered Monday night, to ask LGUs to pass an ordinance limiting the entry of minors to malls.

Duterte also told parents and guardians to be “mindful” about the fact that unvaccinated children could be exposed to Covid-19 when they go to public spaces.

He likewise reminded them that the coronavirus is “still here and remains to be a threat to the people and nation.”

The Duterte government has started the vaccination of minors aged 12 to 17.

It is also eyeing the inoculation of children belonging to 5 to 11 age group to achieve population in the country. (PNA)

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