THE Davao City Government is mulling to restrict the movement of minors in malls or areas of convergence after a noticeable influx of them inside malls despite not yet being vaccinated against Covid-19.
Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said in an interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio Monday afternoon, November 22, that this was discussed during the Covid-19 Task Force meeting, but there is no approved resolution on the matter.
“Na-discuss ni sa atong Covid-19 meeting. Sa pagkakaron, ang ginagamit gihapon nato is ang guide sa IATF [Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases] sa national. Sa atoang level, (It was discussed during our Covid-19 meeting. For now, we are using the national IATF guide. On our level), there are continued discussions. The discussion will be continued at the level of the Response Cluster bago nila isaka balik dinhi sa (before we will raise it again to the) Covid-19 Task Force,” Duterte-Carpio said.
The mayor emphasized that the possible restriction will cover children aged 11 years old and below.
“Ang discussion kaganina [November 22] (The discussion earlier) was about the age of the children, particularly the 11 below kay ang (because) 12 above, they are allowed to get vaccination already. So ang gina-istoryahan lang nato is ang (So we are talking on restricting those) 11 below,” she said.
Duterte-Carpio said authorities saw many parents bringing their children inside malls, especially during the weekend.
“Remember, diria sa atoa, walay vaccination para sa mga bata [below 11] (there is still no vaccinated for those below 11 years old) so they are the most vulnerable, including those who refuse vaccination, ang mga bata ang (children are) most vulnerable na likely matakdan sa (to be infected with) Covid-19,” she said.
Covid-19 Task Force Spokesperson Dr. Michelle Schlosser said in a separate virtual presser that minors, especially those below 11 years old, are at risk of contracting the virus considering that these are the unvaccinated population.
In the national government’s vaccination rollout, only minors aged 12 to 17 years old were allowed to be vaccinated.
“A gentle reminder to our parents to take extra precaution. Although there are no more movement restrictions for minors aged 11 below, they are still vulnerable to infection because they don’t have an extra layer of protection,” Schlosser said.
The health official said that imposing restrictions on minors at the city level was discussed during the Covid-19 Task Force weekly meeting and there is a plan to set limits when getting near the 3Cs (Closed, Crowded, and Close Contact).
While she understands the parents’ excitement to bring their children outside their residences, Schlosser emphasized the risk of allowing the children to go inside establishments like shopping malls as they could be potential spreaders.
Davao City, currently Alert Level 2 until November 30, does not impose restrictions on the movement of people across all age groups.
But President Rodrigo Duterte himself called on the local government units (LGUs) in the country to pass ordinances that will restrict unvaccinated minors in malls and other public places.
Since November this year, the National Government has allowed the vaccination of pediatric age groups under 12 to 17 years old.
According to the Davao City Vaccination Cluster data as of November 19, a total of 2,456 pediatric vaccinees with comorbidities under Priority A3 group for the first dose, while 70 are vaccinated with a second dose.
For the rest of the pediatric population, 37,049 are already vaccinated for the first dose.