MANILA, Philippines – Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte on Monday announced that major events lined up for the celebration of 83rd ‘Araw ng Dabaw’ will be canceled amid the threat of novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV-ARD).
In a social media post, Duterte said the move follows the February 7 advisory of the Department of Health against public gatherings.
“Thus, it is with a heavy heart that I have decided to cancel the following events of the 83rd Araw ng Dabaw celebration: Pasiugdang Pagsaulog, Reyna Dabawenya, Ginoong Davao, Sayaw Pinoy, Kalingawan sa Sta. Ana, Hudyaka, Mutya ng Dabaw, Pasidungog, Araw ng Empleyado, Kanta Bidabawenyo, Parada Dabawenyo, and the Datu Bago Awards,” she said.
Araw ng Dabaw is an annual city-wide celebration held in March. It usually draws a large crowd of locals and foreign tourists.
The mayor said that all preparations made for this year’s celebration will be executed in 2021.
She also said that beginning on Tuesday, February 11, all welcome and send-off groups at airports, seaports, bus terminals, and other transportation hubs are permanently banned “not only because of the virus but for reasons of safety and security.”
She added that only employees, workers, drivers, and passengers are allowed in these places.
“The novel coronavirus situation remains very fluid and there is still no answer when it will be stabilized or its spread across the globe be fully controlled,” Duterte said.
“We have seen an increasing number of people getting the infection worldwide. Our health care facilities in Davao City have limitations and we cannot possibly carry hundreds of sick individuals all at the same time,” she added.
As of Monday, February 10, Chinese public health authorities reported that the number of deaths due to the novel coronavirus has climbed to more than 900 in mainland China with 40,171 confirmed infections.
Duterte also directed the Department of Trade and Industry “to ensure that the price freeze memorandum of the DOH, the price tag, suggested retail price and other pertinent regulations on all goods and commodities are strictly implemented.”
“Business permits of stores caught selling overpriced items and hoarding food and other supplies shall be canceled and their establishment padlocked,” she said.
She called on the public to seek immediate medical assistance and refrain from going in and out of Davao City if they have sore throat, cough, fever, and other flu-like symptoms.
“Schools, offices and business establishments are advised to come up with guidelines to ensure that students and employees who are sick are not allowed entry to the school or workplace,” she said.
“While we have a health issue at hand, please DO NOT PANIC. Instead, report to the authorities and seek immediate and appropriate medical help,” she added.
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