Health department red flags weekend crowds at Manila Bay’s controversial dolomite beach


The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday reminded concerned government agencies of their responsibilities after thousands of people trooped to the controversial dolomite beach in Manila Bay over the weekend.

“Ang ating mga ahensya may responsibilidad kayo [Our agencies have the responsibility] to prevent these mass gatherings,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said, stressing that the protocols of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) were apparently breached.

The Manila Police District said that some 65,000 people visited the beach on Sunday.

Vergeire expressed alarm that if such problem persists, the country will go back to strict quarantine restrictions again.

At ayaw po natin lahat ’yan [And we don’t want that to happen],” Vergeire added.

She reiterated that the national agencies concerned should remember that whatever was discussed with the IATF and whatever safety protocols that are being implemented “is for the good of our population.”

Sinabi na kapag Alert Level 3 ang outdoors natin dapat 50 percent capacity. ’Yung nakita po natin nung weekend hindi po ’yun 50 percent capacity [Under Alert Level 3, it’s 50 percent capacity for outdoors. Based on what we saw, it was not 50 percent capacity],” Vergeire noted.

She called on the authorities to regulate the crowd immediately to stop the spread of Covid-19 and prevent the possible increase in the number of cases in the country.

Image courtesy of Nonie Reyes

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