DOH thumbs down proposal to allow kids in malls, calls it risky


The Department of Health (DOH) has maintained that children aged 14 years old and below, as well as the elderly aged 66 and above should not be allowed to go outside to prevent COVID-19 infection, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Wednesday.

Duque was responding to the recommendation of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) allowing children seven to 14 years old to go to malls if they are accompanied by their guardians.

The said recommendation, the DILG said, will be further clarified by respective local government units (LGUs).

“Ang posisyon namin, hindi po nagbabago. We discourage that kasi meron pa ring risk,” Duque said at an online forum.

“Sa siyam na buwan na karanasan natin sa COVID-19, three to five percent po ng total infected cases natin ay sa mga bata nangyari. Hindi po sila exempted sa hawaan,” Duque added.

As it is, individuals aged 15 to 65 are allowed to go outside for essential needs, including going to work.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said there is no final decision yet regarding allowing minors inside malls, at least in the National Capital Region where mayors are seeking advice from the Philippine Pediatrics Society and the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines first before coming up with a decision.


Likewise, Duque clarified that the DOH is not banning Christmas celebrations but is for limiting it to immediate families.

“Hindi po ipinagbabawal ng DOH ang holiday celebration. Gusto lang po natin ito limitahan sa immediate family members. Hindi na po muna [kasali ang] mga kamag-anak na galing sa ibang lugar,” Duque said.

“Kasi sa siyam na buwan na may pandemya, ang nakakahawa po ay iyong mga walang sintomas o kung meron man, mild lang,” Duque added.

The Philippines has recorded 432,925 COVID-19 so far. Of this number, 398,782 recovered while 8,418 died.

The number of active COVID-19 cases is at 25,725. -MDM/KBK, GMA News