PNP echoes DOH’s virtual holiday parties call amid Omicron risk

PNP echoes DOH’s virtual holiday parties call amid Omicron risk

MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Sunday echoed the Department of Health’s (DOH) advice to the public to instead hold virtual Christmas parties instead of physical get-togethers to avoid surge of Covid-19 infections.

Despite the easing of some restrictions under Alert Level 2 and no Omicron Covid-19 variant had been detected in the country yet, PNP chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos said the PNP still supports the DOH’s call to hold Christmas parties online.

“This will ensure that everyone can be protected by not coming together so there will be less chances of a virus spread amid the threat of the Omicron variant,” Carlos said in a statement.

He reminded the public to always follow minimum public health standards, particularly wearing of face mask and physical distancing.

“The PNP’s priority this holiday season is to safeguard the peace and order situation in our country. And if there is a gathering of persons, I strongly advise everyone to follow the protocols set by the Health department,” Carlos said.

Carlos said the PNP vows to strictly monitor public places where parties can transpire and if there is a blatant violation of the health protocol, then the police personnel will take the necessary action against party goers and establishment owners.

On Saturday, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire also reminded the public to avoid gatherings after 30 people were infected with Omicron Covid-19 variant in Norway after a big party.

“[T]he virus is still here, let’s continue to practice the safety protocols. Kung magki-Christmas party po baka maaari, virtual parties muna. Let’s have that sacrifice first para po sa kapakanan ng ating pamilya at sa kapakanan po ng buong sambayanang Pilipino (If we’re going to attend a Christmas party, if possible, do it virtually. Let’s have that sacrifice first for our family and the entire Filipino people),” she said.

Vergeire believes that the variant has not yet entered the Philippines as no clusters or sudden increase in infections has been observed so far.

“[I]f you see in the other countries, nagpuputukan po ang mga kaso nila, biglang tumataas ang numero, dito naman po sa ating bansa ay hindi natin nakikita. (If you see in other countries, the cases are suddenly soaring, but here in the country we don’t see that),” she said.

“So, sa tingin ko po sa ngayon, hindi pa nakakapasok ang variant na ito sa ating bansa. At patuloy po na minu-monitor iyan para makapagbigay tayo ng abiso sa ating mga kababayan (So, I think at present, the variant has not yet reached the country. We will continue to monitor this),” she added. (PNA)

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