FILE PNP chief Guillermo Eleazar. Screengrab from Facebook / PNP livestream
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has reminded parents that children are only allowed to go outdoors for medical purposes and for exercising even as COVID-19 quarantine restrictions over Metro Manila and other areas were eased.
PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said Friday that the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has been clear about when children can leave their homes, and what should be done when they go out.
Metro Manila is now under a less restrictive COVID-19 Alert Level 3, after the Delta variant-led surge last August and September.
“Nilinaw na ng [MMDA] ang panuntunan sa paglabas ng mga kabataan. Maaari lamang silang lumabas kung sila ay magpapagamot o kaya mageehersisyo. Dapat din ay kasama nila ang kanilang magulang tuwing lalabas,” Eleazar said in a statement.
(The MMDA has already clarified the regulations regarding outdoor trips of children. They can only go outside if they are seeking medical assistance or if they will exercise. They should also have their parents with them if they would go outside.)
“Kaya naman pinapalalahanan ko ang mga magulang na bantayan ang kanilang mga anak dahil baka akala ng mga ito, maaari na silang basta-basta lumabas dahil sa kakaunting pagluluwag dito sa Metro Manila,” he added.
(That’s why I am reminding parents to monitor their children’s activities because they might think that the downgrading of quarantine status in Metro Manila is a sign to go out anytime.)
Eleazar warned that parents could be held liable if their children disregard health protocols due to COVID-19.
This comes amid reports that more children were seen outdoors, including in places of leisure — indicating that their outdoor trips were not for medical purposes or for exercise.
The reports that reached the PNP chief also noted that some of the children were not wearing face masks — making them vulnerable to COVID-19 infections.
Vaccination for children aged 12 to 17 has just started as the government only appointed a few vaccination areas for the pilot run.
In a separate statement, Eleazar said the detection of the Delta subvariant in other countries must be a constant reminder to the public that the threat of COVID-19 remains.
Unconfirmed reports claim the subvariant is even more infectious than the Delta variant itself, which is already 60 percent more transmissible than the Alpha variant that caused the surge last March and April.
Eleazar explained that while they do not want to spread fear, the public should remain vigilant and continue to follow health protocols.
“Ayaw nating magdulot ng pangamba o takot sa publiko subalit magsilbi sanang paalala sa atin ang pagkakadiskubre ng subvariant ng Delta sa ibang bansa na nariyan pa rin ang banta ng pandemya,” he said.
(We don’t want to cause panic or fear but we should take the discovery of the Delta subvariant as a reminder that the threat of the pandemic is still present.)
“Kailangan pa rin ng ibayong pag-iingat dahil maaaring dumami na naman ang kaso ng COVID-19 kung tayo ay magpapabaya,” he added.
(We still need to exercise caution because COVID-19 cases may increase again if people would take health protocols for granted)
What the public can do now, the PNP chief said, is to observe basic health standards while experts are studying the subvariant.
“Makakaasa ang publiko na ang ating mga eksperto ay nakatutok sa subvariant na ito. Sa ngayon, ang tanging magagawa ng publiko ay patuloy na sumunod sa mga health protocols at makipagtulungan sa mga awtoridad at opisyal upang mapigilan ang pagkalat ng coronavirus,” he said.
(The public can expect our health experts to focus on this subvariant. But for now, the only thing the public can do is to continue following health protocols and help the authorities and officials to stop the coronavirus spread.)
“Nakahanda ang PNP na gawin ang mandato nito upang makatulong sa pagpigil sa pagkalat ng iba’t-ibang variants ng coronavirus,” he added.
(The PNP is ready to fulfill its mandate, to help stop the spread of all the different COVID-19 variants.)
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