Cebu City EOC lays out recommendations for future crowd-drawing events
But ‘not too much restrictions’
CEBU CITY, Philippines- The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has laid out a number of safety recommendations for both organizers and attendees of future events that are likely to draw huge crowds.
This comes after the staging of the ‘Arat na Cebu’ free concert last Saturday, March 26, 2022, which drew an estimated 100,000 in the first outdoor concert staged since the pandemic started in 2020.
“Well, an outdoor is very ideal. Kung makita nimo ang concerts abroad, outdoor gyud na. We will be encouraging people to get their vaccines aron ma protektahan sad sila. Outdoor is very ideal and the wearing of face masks is a must,” said Councilor Joel Garganera, the EOC’s deputy chief implementer.
Although Garganera stressed that the regular minimum health protocols should be observed, he also stated that no unreasonable limitations will be imposed.
“Not too much restrictions. People hate that already and it’s too much of a burden already. We’ve been through (a lot),” said Garganera.
He also believes that authorities cannot always be there for everyone at all times, and that these health standards should be entrenched in people’s consciousness at some point, referring to it as “muscle memory.”
“This is a shared responsibility. Ang atoang behavior will really determine how we navigate [through] this pandemic aron makalingkawas na ta ni ani because two years is two years and that’s too much already,” said Garganera.
Local health officials expressed concerns that a spike in cases may occur after the free concert attracted around 100,000 spectators at the Cebu City Sports Center.
“It’s a potential, everything is a potential spreader. If I may add, yes there were a lot of flaws. That was the biggest event. But one thing, I give it to Cebuanos. Wa gyud gi ingon nga nangamong,” said Gargnera.
As COVID-19 approaches endemic status, Garganera said that there will always be spikes in cases, and it’s only a matter of how prepared the city’s healthcare institutions will be.
“Just like dengue, kung padong na gani sa rainy season, daghan kaayo na ang blood-letting because they’re going to store platelets, which is very vital in addressing dengue. In the same manner, I’ve talked to a lot of hospital administrators, this is the best time to stock medicines of COVID,” said Garganera.
Aside from this, Garganera put an end to speculations of a possible lockdown, tagging it as “ancient history” already.
“No, we will never go back to that anymore, no more lockdowns. This is ancient history na as we navigate the past two yeas. We learned a lot. We know how to manage,” said Garganera.
Finally, Garganera said the event serves as a symbolic turning point, signaling that the city will gradually move past the pandemic slump.
“We know what to do na. We have to move on, we move forward, we have to coexist with COVID and let us just be mindful and make it as a muscle memory na we have to protect ourselves despite being vaccinated na,” said Garganera.
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