Bearers of fake vax cards to be arrested, cops warn

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THE Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, warned that those who present fake vaccination cards in order to gain entry into cemeteries and columbaria on Nov. 1 and 2 will be arrested.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Wilbert Parilla, CCPO deputy city director for operations, said they were also on the lookout for illegal manufacturers of these fake cards.

He noted that it would be easy to manufacture fake vaccination cards since the genuine card does not contain any safety features.

Even the results of reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests are falsified, he added. Parilla warned that they have apprehended those who presented fake swab test results to comply with travel requirements.

The policy to allow only those who are vaccinated against coronavirus disease (Covid-19) to enter cemeteries and columbaria on All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day on Nov. 1 and 2 is expected to lead to the proliferation of fake vaccination cards, Parilla said.

Authorities have decided to allow cemeteries and columbaria to open on these days even without a directive yet from the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Once the IATF approves this and issues a directive, Parilla said the CCPO will make sure that physical distancing would be observed inside the facilities.

He said they will likely assign a schedule to those who wish to pay their respects to their departed loved ones on Nov. 1 and 2.

Meanwhile, the Visayas Vaccination Operation Center (VVOC) supports Cebu City’s plan to allow only the vaccinated persons to visit the cemeteries and columbaria during Kalag-Kalag.

Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, VVOC spokesperson, said that although cemeteries are open spaces and well-ventilated, gatherings in these facilities could lead to Covid-19 transmission.

Loreche hoped that this policy would motivate those who are undecided about the vaccine to get inoculated.

In Mandaue City, Dr. Ligaya Dargantes, operations head of Mandaue City Vaccination Operations Center (MVOC), said they have yet to formulate policies for Kalag-Kalag.

She did not say whether she will recommend Cebu City’s policy to Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes.

She noted that they have not implemented the Cebu City policy to allow only those who are partially or fully vaccinated to avail themselves of dine-in and personal care services. (AYB, KFD)

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