DOH asks Filipinos not to crowd shopping areas, consider other options for Christmas

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 23 2020 02:43 PM | Updated as of Nov 23 2020 02:46 PM

Vendors arrange displays of various Christmas decor for sale at a store in Divisoria on October 23, 2020.

MANILA — Following reports of overcrowding in Divisoria, the Department of Health urged Filipinos to consider other options for Christmas shopping.

“Bagamat alam natin na sabik na tayo magpunta ng mall, mamili tayo ng mga pampasko natin, alalahanin natin nandyan pa ang virus at ang virus mas naihahawa sa mga tao and among you pag andun kayo sa mga lugar na talagang siksikan,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a virtual briefing, noting photos of a crowded Divisoria during the weekend. 

(While we are excited to visit malls and buy Christmas gifts, we should remember that the virus is still there and it spreads easily among people in crowded places.)

She pointed out that the risk of being infected with COVID-19 in crowded areas is very high, which is why the government is still not allowing 100% capacity of venues for mass gathering.

“Kahit kayo ay naka mask at naka faceshield pero kung kayo naman ay pupunta sa mga matataaong lugar na halos dikit dikit pa rin kayo, maaari pa rin kayong mahawa. The risk is there and it is very high kaya ating dapat iwasan ang pagunta sa matataong lugar,” she explained.

(Even if you are wearing a mask and a face shield but you go to a crowded place where people are beside each other, you can still be infected. The risk is there and it is very high so you should avoid going to crowded places.)

“At kung sakaling kailangan mamili dahil that’s part of our celebrations maaarin naman siguro magkaroon tayo ng ibang pamamaraan para magkaroon ng ganitong activities for ourselves,” she added.

(And if you really need to shop because that’s part of our celebration, you might want to consider other options for this activity.)

She said people should continue following minimum health standards such as the wearing of masks, physical distancing, and frequent hand washing.

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