COVID-19

Christmas parties in December? It’s still uncertain, says DOH

Bonz Magsambol
Christmas parties in December? It’s still uncertain, says DOH

PANDEMIC-HIT PH. In this file photo, shoppers crowd the stalls along Ylaya street in Manila on August 24.

Rappler

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosaria Vergeire says government will need to monitor the COVID-19 situation in the country first before allowing parties

Though COVID-19 cases have started to decline, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Friday, October 15, that there was no certainty if Christmas parties would be allowed this year.

“For now, we can’t say that we are certain that we will be allowing these parties by December,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosaria Vergeire told reporters in a press briefing.

“We know [Christmas parties] will comprise of gatherings, crowding, [and] close contact. Sometimes, it’s in an enclosed space. There’s still the possibility of people getting sick,” she explained in a mix of English and Filipino.

The health spokesperson said that the government would need to monitor the COVID-19 situation in the country first before allowing parties.

Vergeire made the statement after Octa Research fellow Guido David said that Christmas parties could be held for vaccinated individuals.

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The Octa Research Group has been the subject of congressional hearings for being supposedly “alarmist” in predicting outbreaks. Historically, government data analysts have been conservative with projections.

As of Friday, the Philippines has 2,705,792 cases of COVID-19, with 40,424 deaths and 2,586,369 recoveries. Of the total cases, 78,999 remain active or are currently sick. – Rappler.com

Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.