Dolomite beach overcrowding violates IATF rules, says DOH

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 25 2021 01:42 PM

People flock to the Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach along Roxas Boulevard in Manila, Sunday, October 17, 2021. The project was opened on the same day the IATF announced the easing of COVID-19 restrictions to Alert Level 3 in NCR on October 16. Public may visit the site daily from 8 am - 11 am, and 3 pm - 6 pm. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
People flock to the Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach along Roxas Boulevard in Manila, Sunday, October 17, 2021. The project was opened on the same day the IATF announced the easing of COVID-19 restrictions to Alert Level 3 in NCR on October 16. Public may visit the site daily from 8 am - 11 am, and 3 pm - 6 pm. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The overcrowding of people in Manila Bay's dolomite beach over the weekend is a violation of rules set by the Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19, the Department of Health said Monday.

Some 65,000 people visited the beach on Sunday, according to the Manila Police District.

"Meron pong naitalaga na protocols ang IATF kung ano po ang dapat buksan. Sinabi na kapag Alert Level 3 ang outdoors natin dapat 50 percent capacity. 'Yung nakita po natin nung weekend hindi po 'yun 50 percent capacity," DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told reporters.

(The IATF has designated protocols on what should be reopened. Under Alert Level 3, outdoor capacity must be at 50 percent. What we saw over the weekend was not 50 percent.)

"Ang ating mga ahensya may responsibilidad kayo to prevent these mass gatherings kasi kung ganito lang po ang mangyayari sa'tin babalik po tayo sa dating paghihigpit at ayaw po natin lahat yan."

(Agencies have the responsibility to prevent these mass gatherings or else we would revert to restrictions and all of us don't want that.)

Vergeire urged the public to avoid crowded areas and reminded authorities to enforce minimum health standards.

"I call on all our national agencies, whatever was discussed in IATF, whatever safety protocols we're now implementing this is for the good of our population. Kailangan ipatupad po natin yun (We need to implement it)," she said.

"Kung nakikita nating hindi kaya katulad ng sinasabi ng official masyadong madami hindi kaya ipatupad, let’s regulate that. Baguhin po natin siguro ang proseso pero kailangan po makatulong po namin kayong lahat para mapigilan ang pagtaas ng kaso dito sa NCR and even other parts of the country."

(If we can't implement it, let's regulate that. Let's change the process but we have to cooperate in order to prevent an increase in cases here in NCR and even other parts of the country.)

Aside from avoiding overcrowded areas, families are urged to "maintain their bubbles," wear masks, observe physical distancing and conduct their gatherings outdoors, Vergeire said ahead of the holidays.

"We can always have these kind of activities at kailangan magtulungan tayo. Kailangan ipatupad ang safety protocols para patuloy nating maranasan ang ating kinagawian na activities," she said.

(We can always have these kind of activities, and we need the cooperation of everybody. We need to enforce safety protocols so we can continue the activities we used to do.)

"Nakasalalay po sa'ting lahat kung babalik tayo sa pagkahigpit at pagtaas ng kaso at maraming na-o-ospital."

(It's up to us if we will go back to tight restrictions and increasing virus cases and hospitalization.)

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