/ 16 November 2021

MAYORS in the National Capital Region will discuss whether unvaccinated children will be subjected to travel restrictions, the Department of the Interior and Local Government said.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año issued the statement following reports that a two-year-old boy tested positive for Covid19 during a mall visit last week.

“Nagkausap kami ni chairman Benhur Abalos at napag-usapan namin ito at sa pulong na ginagawa ng mayors isa sa kanilang tatalakayin para makita na kailangan bang magkaroon ng restrictions sa younger kids,” Año said, referring to the head of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.

He said the department is investigating the incident to determine if the boy’s rapid antigen test was a false positive.

“Too early to make conclusions pero maganda na pinag-aaralan natin,” Año said.

The MMDA earlier said minors are now permitted inside restaurants and malls after several areas were placed under Alert Level 2.

Metro Manila mayors also agreed to allow intrazonal and interzonal travel for minors.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health pointed out that the boy’s exact cause of Covid19 infection may be “multifactorial and uncertain.”

“This news is very unfortunate. Although the recent activities done, like the mall visit, may be a possible source of infection, its exact cause will remain multifactorial and uncertain,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a statement.

“Factors such as adults from the same household going to work and bringing the infection home could also be a possibility. In line with this, we would like to reiterate that the Covid19 virus is still very much present,” she added.

Vergerie urged children aged 12 to 17 to get vaccinated as soon as possible in order to achieve the “cocoon effect.”

“More establishments were opened, but we advise parents and guardians to take extra precaution if they will bring their children with them,” the health official stressed.