LONG bikes, racket sports, and swimming are out.
Only walking, running, and biking within the proximity of one's residence are allowed since Davao City was placed under a modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from June 5 until June 20 due to the surge of Covid-19 confirmed positive cases.
As per the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Memorandum Circular No. 21-19, Series of 2021, under an MECQ all indoor non-contact sports courts or venues, fitness studios, gyms, spas or other indoor leisure centers or facilities, and swimming pools are prohibited along with indoor sports, courts or venues for contact sports, scrimmages, games or activities.
The city's new community quarantine status has indeed limited movement of Dabawenyos including those health and fitness enthusiasts.
Sports Development Division of the City Mayor's Office (SDD-CMO) officer-in-charge Mikey Aportadera, in an interview, said they have been inspecting sports and fitness-related establishments whether they are complying with the DTI memo and Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines as of May 20, 2021.
Aportadera said, "Nag-remind o naghangyo mi sa mga apektadong establishments - mga gyms, spa og courts nga dili lang usa jud mag-abri kay para man ni sa atoang kaayuhan ang pagtuman sa mga guidelines og protocols (We reminded and asked affected establishments like gyms, spas, and courts to cease operations while MECQ is in effect since this is all for everybody's benefit that they adhere to the guidelines and protocols)."
He also hopes that bikers and runners who usually take long routes could also understand the need for them to limit their movement and only do so near their residences. Athletes in individual non-contact and contact sports are also encouraged to just continue their training at home and continue to practice the public minimum health standards of frequent hand washing, wearing of face mask and face shield, and social distancing.
The two-week MECQ classification we have would be a make or break for all of us, Dabawenyos.
Davao City Health Office (CHO) Acting Head Dr. Ashley Lopez said, it's really up to us if we comply with the protocols or not as it will determine whether MECQ will be extended. If Covid-19 cases continue to hit 200 or more daily, he said the IATF might extend the MECQ. Hence, the cooperation of everybody is vital.
We all know that extending the MECQ or elevating our status to an ECQ will not bode well for everybody. The economy will suffer and more Dabawenyos will be unemployed, either temporarily or permanently.
"Antos lang usa ta run," Sir Mikey said. After all, everything will have its end. Covid-19 will not be forever. Our sacrifices today will reap more rewarding benefits for us and our loved ones and for our city and country.
As we celebrate our independence today, let's strive to fight for our freedom from this pandemic that has claimed countless lives and continues to sow fear among us. Let's be more responsible citizens by supporting the government's call to stay at home and only go out for essential purposes. Let's be mindful not just of our own safety but others as well.
Happy Independence Day, everyone!