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In the midst of the Covid-19 slowdown, Cebu City would allow additional gatherings and events.

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Despite the sustained reduction in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections, Mayor Michael Rama said on Monday that the municipal government will authorize more activities that will boost economic growth.

Rama made the announcement during a news conference held after a concert featuring actress AJ Raval at the Cebu City Sports Center on Saturday. The event, which drew over 100,000 people, became a social media sensation.

“After two years of being enslaved by a pandemic, we observed our people’s desire to walk out and be free.” It is something that our youth desire. We’ll give them, as well as the young at heart, additional reasons to be the social creatures that we are,” he stated.

With an increase in Covid-19 cases over the last two years, the mayor says the city now needs to adopt a “open policy” to return to “what we were used to before this pandemic occurred, and before we were destroyed by a tragedy.”

“There is no other option now than to rise up and move on,” he said, citing events around the next elections as an example.

Although all gatherings are potential “spreaders” of the virus, Councilor Joel Garganera, the head of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), said that if they are held in open-air or al-fresco settings, participants wear a face mask, and only fully vaccinated individuals are invited, the risk of transmission is minimized.

According to Garganera, the city had the lowest Covid-19 positivity rate of 0.20 percent on Monday, with only one person out of 488 testings positive.

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