Doctors group in Cebu opposes Sinulog 2021
CEBU CITY, Philippines – A group of doctors in Cebu expressed opposition to the holding of the Sinulog Festival 2021 and other related activities.
Cebu Medical Society Inc., in a statement issued on Wednesday, January 6, said that “public health and safety should be of utmost priority” while the battle against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues this year.
“A new year has dawned on us but we are still faced with the ever-growing concerns of COVID-19 in the Philippines and worldwide. With the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Cebu City, we are perturbed with the decision to continue with the preparations and scheduled activities in relation to the Sinulog 2021,” the group said.
Cebu Medical Society Inc., a component of the Philippine Medical Association, is the latest group to join in the calls for local officials and organizers of the Sinulog Festival 2021 to drop their plans.
The statement was signed by Cebu Medical Society Inc. President, Dr. Minnie Monteclaro.
The organization also warned that mass gatherings as part of the Sinulog celebration could result in rapid transmission of the virus.
“Sinulog is a convergence of humanity – of spectators and performers. These forms of mass gatherings pose a high risk of COVID-19 transmission,” they explained.
“It is our dilemma to strike a balance between physical expressions of faith and cultural preservation versus public health and safety. However, it is our firm belief that public health and safety should be of utmost priority. Therefore, we strongly oppose the holding of the Sinulog 2021 and other related activities,” they added.
Cebu Medical Society Inc. also called on the general public to continue following health protocols as the virus’ presence still remains.
As of January 5, 2021, data from the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) recorded 213 active cases of COVID-19 in Cebu City.
This was higher compared to the 87 logged in mid-December.
Active cases refer to patients still infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Clamors to cancel all festivities of the Sinulog this year began when officials from the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) made public similar recommendations.
The Cebu City Police Office also told the city government to secure first the approval from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF) before conducting the festivities.
But for Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael Rama, who was appointed by the city government to oversee all Sinulog preparations, they have no intentions to halt their plans.
The IATF in Central Visayas, for their part, is yet to convene to discuss the fate of the Sinulog this year. /rcg
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