Government will not stop us from going about our business––but we have to understand that it cannot be business as usual if we hope to overcome this public health threat.” 

This was according to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, who on Friday, announced that the government will be strictly prohibiting “mass gatherings” as part of its Stringent Social Distancing Measures being implemented from March 12 to April 12.

It cannot be business as usual if we hope to overcome this public health threat.

Nograles stressed that the government is “strictly prohibiting mass gatherings during this period. These include concerts, large seminars and conventions, sporting events and social gatherings.”

The Palace official added that additional details will be released as the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) irons out the details of the implementing guidelines that will cover mass gatherings like worship services and religious gatherings, among others.

The former lawmaker admitted that this would require a huge adjustment on the part of Metro Manila residents.

“But we ask everyone to cooperate because the consequences of allowing these gatherings during this crucial time could be more painful in the long run,” said Nograles.

Nograles, a member of the IATF, stressed that “government is resolute in its efforts to contain this outbreak, and we thank all the medical and government personnel at the frontlines helping us keep COVID-19 at bay––but we in government cannot do it alone.” 

“The cooperation of everyone is a crucial component of our campaign to beat this disease; if we remain calm, continue to be vigilant, and take the necessary precautions, mga kababayan, magtulungan po tayong lahat, kaya po natin ito.”

As stated under IATF-EID Resolution No. 11, the Stringent Social Distancing Measures currently in place will be subject to review by the IATF, which has been tasked by President Rodrigo Duterte to meet daily and regularly monitor and assess developments in the campaign to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

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