Governor Arthur Yap said that the provincial government is considering the possibility of imposing the suspension of graduation ceremonies and other public events which are expected to draw large crowds for 30 days amid the growing coronavirus disease (COVID 19) threat in the country.
Yap, in a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, said that local health experts and representatives from various sectors expressed favor for the proposed measure during a consultative meeting held earlier in the day.
“If you will get the sense of all the attendees in the consultative group, ang gusto nila for one month no public gatherings. That is the suggestion of civilian leaders, doctors, nurses and civil society members who were invited,” he added.
The governor highlighted the graveness of the situation citing President Duterte’s declaration of a state of public health emergency due to the rapid spread of the dreaded disease.
“This is a national public health emergency. Mangutana ko ninyo, when was the last time a President of the Philippine Republic declared such, I don’t even remember. In my life, I think this is the only time that a President made such a declaration,” he said.
The Capitol is already moving to impose the suspension or postponement of public gatherings through the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
According to Yap, he is set to meet with Provincial Board members to discuss the rules and protocols involving the impending suspension.
The provincial government will also coordinate with local Church officials to tackle the possibility of cancelling religious events which will be held in line with the upcoming Holy Week.
Holy Week 2020 will be observed from April 5 to April 11 while most graduation rites across the country are held in the months of March and April.
As of Wednesday morning, there have been 33 confirmed COVID cases throughout the country.
One of the cases involved a 60-year-old woman from Wuhan, China who was isolated at a hospital in Bohol for over a week in late January.
Meanwhile, Dr. Yul Lopez of the Provincial Health Office confirmed that a 39-year-old Frenchman who recently traveled to Vietnam has been quarantined at the Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital in Tagbilaran City for suspicion of COVID infection since Monday. (R. Tutas)