JABS BEFORE SINULOG. Photo shows the image of the Holy Child, Sr. Sto. Niño de Cebu. RESU-7 cluster head Dr. Eugenia Mercedes Cañal on Wednesday (Dec. 28, 2022) urged Cebuanos who have not been vaccinated for their initial two doses to get their jabs and be protected against Covid-19 when they celebrate Sinulog fiesta in honor of the Sto. Niño in January next year. (PNA photo by John Rey Saavedra) 

CEBU CITY – The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) on Wednesday encouraged Cebuanos who have not been vaccinated for their initial two doses yet to take their jabs to be protected against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) before the Sinulog celebration in January.

Dr. Eugenia Mercedes Cañal, Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (RESU)-7 cluster head, said their data shows no threat of a Covid-19 surge in Cebu province, attributing the decrease in cases to the effective vaccination campaign of the government.

Despite the crowding of people in some commercial centers and establishments during the Christmas holidays, Cañal said the number of cases has continued to decrease as compared to 2020 and 2021 when infections were at an all-time high.

“If we based on our data, there would (be) no impending surge or what. Again, as I have mentioned, it may be because the vaccine is very effective in protecting the community (against Covid-19),” she said in a media forum.

However, Cañal said the gains in the fight against the pandemic should not be a reason for the public to be complacent, as incidents of surges in cases at the height of the public health crisis in 2020 were caused by the easing of people’s vigilance.

“Again, let’s not be too confident about it kay wala ta kahibalo sa (because we don’t know yet about the) virus. It can just take overnight. We don’t know what will happen. But then again, ang atong komunidad, ang tagsatagsa nato, pirme nato gi-remind ug gi-encourage nga magpakabakuna ta (our community, our individual self, we are always reminded and encouraged to be vaccinated),” she said.

Cañal also reminded the Cebuanos to wear face masks in areas with poor ventilation to avoid getting infected during the holidays up to the Sinulog fiesta.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said the Sinulog 2023 will return to its grandest celebration after being stalled for two years due to Covid-19.

The fiesta in honor of Sr. Sto. Niño is expected to generate huge crowds who will participate in the Holy Masses at the centuries-old Basilica and its socio-cultural activities, including the Grand Parade which will be held this time at the South Road Properties, instead of the Cebu City Sports Center in the midtown district here. (PNA)