RIATF to Cebu City: Cancel all Sinulog performances

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THE Regional Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (RIATF-MEID) 7 wants all Sinulog performances canceled, even if pre-recorded, amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) and the technical working committee of the Cebu City Government announced Thursday, January 7, 2021, the cancellation of the Grand Ritual Showdown and Street Dancing Competition at the South Road Properties (SRP) on January 17, 2021.

However, instead of the performances at SRP, Sinulog organizers decided to hold all performances in the barangays of the participating contingents.

The contingents will be judged during the scheduled per barangay performance and pre-recorded for a full virtual presentation of all the performances on the Sinulog website and Facebook page.

But even with the holding of the performances through a "bubble' concept or even pre-recording the videos of the performances, the RIATF said it still poses an increased risk of infections and transmissions.

The dance competitions require performers to gather and interact for the rehearsals and the actual competition. This will also likely draw crowds, which may be difficult for police authorities to control, considering the limited personnel.

Data from the Department of Health (DOH) 7 showed that for the last 14 days, a double digit-number of new positive cases were reported in Cebu City while total active cases from December 25, 2020, to January 7, 2021, increased by 139 percent.

"Notwithstanding the mutual objective to preserve the culture and tradition of Sinulog, this time of global crisis calls for public health and safety to be the paramount priority of all," the RIATF 7 resolution said.

Instead, the RIATF recommended just present online the Sinulog Festival activities and performances from the previous years as an alternative way to show Sinulog through the years.

The RIATF will endorse the resolution to the National Inter-Agency Task Force for appropriate action.

According to SFI, there are 19 contingents from Cebu City and two from Cebu Province participating in this year's Sinulog Ritual Showdown and Street Dancing Competition. (MVG/WBS)