The Department of Health (DOH) today reminded the public to refrain from celebrating Christmas and New Year with activities that have higher risks of COVID-19 transmission, including karaoke singing which is a usual Filipino activity during celebrations. Instead, the DOH urged Filipinos to celebrate Christmas meaningfully by spending more time with their families.


“For a change, let us opt to have a solemn celebration with joyful Christmas songs from our favorite artists played on radios or online music platforms,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque said. The health chief stressed that Christmas need not be grandiose, referring to the first Christmas when our Savior was born in a simple manger.


“Kung tayo ay nagsasalita, meron pa tayong nae-emit na respiratory droplets. Mas marami ito kung tayo ay kumakanta o sumisigaw kaya po inirerekomenda namin na iwasan muna ang pagkakaraoke. According to a recent study published in the Aerosol Science and Technology Journal[1], loud singing increases viral particle spread by 448% compared to normal talking,” Sec. Duque said.


Duque also called on all local government chiefs to strictly entforce and implement the minimum public health standards in their localities such as wearing face masks and shields, regular handwashing, and observing one-meter physical distance to avoid contracting or transferring the virus.


Meanwhile, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus remarked that the pandemic might be changing the way we celebrate but it does not mean that we cannot celebrate. He also said to not be complacent and to follow local protocols, avoid the crowd and celebrate with your household.


Despite seeing a continued downtrend of new COVID-19 cases, DOH reminds the public to remain vigilant, especially during the holidays.


“Hinihiling ko po sa inyong lahat na iwasan muna natin ngayong Kapaskuhan ang mga karaoke parties at mga malalaking salu-salo para tuluyang makaiwas sa virus at mapigilan ang lalong pagkalat nito. Munting sakripisyo lang po ito para sa kaligtasan natin sa pagdiriwang ngayong Pasko,” the Health Chief concluded.