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Davao City, Philippines

GenSan mulls shorter holiday curfew hours

November 26, 2020 - Thursday 8:11 PM by PNA

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GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The city government could further relax the curfew restrictions by next month to allow residents to properly celebrate Christmas and New Year.

Dr. Ryan Aplicador, deputy incident commander of the City Inter-Agency Task Force (CIATF) for the Management of Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases, said Thursday they recommended the observance of shorter curfew hours starting Dec. 15 and its lifting on Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

He said the move, which is now up for approval by Mayor Ronnel Rivera, aims to facilitate the participation of residents in traditional activities during the holidays.

Aplicador said the recommendation complements with the ordinance passed by the city council last Tuesday that trimmed the nightly curfew from four to two hours effective Dec. 15 to Jan. 1, 2021.

The curfew, which starts at midnight, will end at 2 a.m. instead of the current 4 a.m. and with the restrictions totally lifted on Christmas and New Year’s Eve based on the measure authored by Councilor Franklin Gacal Jr.

Gacal said this will allow residents to join the “Simbang gabi,” “Misa De Gallo” and other related activities starting Dec. 16.

Aplicador said the CIATF made the recommendation based on the city’s coronavirus disease (Covid-19) situation in the past several weeks that saw a “steady decline in active cases.”

He said the city reached its target to lower the active infections to below 200 and eventually contain the disease transmission.

“Our situation in terms of Covid-19 has been improving and this shows that our control measures are effective and the people are properly following the health protocols,” he said in a radio interview.

As of Wednesday night, the City Health Office has recorded a total of 891 recoveries out of the 1,086 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the area since March.

Most of the remaining 151 active cases either have mild symptoms or asymptomatic and expected to eventually recover.

Aplicador said they are hoping that such trend will continue and no spike in cases will occur in the coming days, especially in the run-up and during the holiday season.

He said the reduction of Covid-19 cases will mainly depend on the full cooperation of residents and compliance with the minimum health standards.

These are the wearing of face mask and face shield, regular hand washing and sanitation, and observance of safe physical distancing.

“We’re hoping that everyone will continue to take to heart the health protocols while celebrating Christmas and New Year, otherwise the cases will just shoot up again and we eventually revert to stricter community quarantine measures,” Aplicador said. Richelyn Gubalani