Children may become superspreaders if allowed outside homes: expert

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 30 2020 10:38 AM | Updated as of Nov 30 2020 11:52 AM

A child touches his face shield as they wait to enter the NAIA Terminal 1 in Paranaque City on August 19, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) - Children can become superspreaders if they are allowed to go outside their homes during the holidays, a public health expert warned Monday.

Dr. Tony Leachon, a former adviser of the government's pandemic task force, made the remark as President Rodrigo Duterte was set to announce quarantine measures for the last month of the year.

"They say the holiday season is about kids and children but I think if they will be allowed to roam around and visit the malls they will be the ones to carry the virus at home. They will be the superspreaders and they will affect their parents and grandparents so this is dangerous," he told ANC's Headstart. 

"This has been happening in other countries where the children are actually the superspreaders in the home and in other areas."

There will be a "confluence" of COVID-19 problems in the remaining month of the year, Leachon added.

"We’re not yet out of the woods given the social mobility that will be happening in the last quarter of the year because of the holiday season. And there will be some after effects of the typhoon because some of the citizens in evacuation centers," he said.

"If we will consider the temperature, I have a projection it might actually be a problem also because as you approach the holiday season the temperature will drop. And based on experience and overindulgence over the holiday season, you might experience also an uptick of cardiovascular cases and these are more vulnerable to COVID infection."

The OCTA Research Group earlier warned the country may see a gradual rise of COVID-19 cases as virus infections climbed in many parts of the country.

Metro Manila mayors have recommended to national government to keep the capital region under general community quarantine which limits gatherings to a maximum of 10 people and allows ages 15 to 65 to go outside their homes.

The "single-most effective intervention measure" is physical distancing, Leachon said.

"And then of course you have the face shield and face masks, which are very effective in terms of curbing transmission," he added.

Watch more in iWantTFC