Philippines government officials recommend a “total ban” on public karaoke during the holidays

"For a change, let us opt to have a solemn celebration"

Due to the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, government officials are recommending a total ban on karaoke and videoke in public spaces during Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

In a press briefing on December 10, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) recommended that only households with two to three people do karaoke. “We highly discourage public karaoke,” said DIG undersecretary Jonathan Malaya.

DILG chief Eduardo Año also said in a CNN Philippines interview that he will recommend a total ban on karaoke singing to local government units to further prevent virus transmission over the holidays.

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The possible ban on karaoke was first brought up during a Department of Health (DOH) press briefing on December 9. “We are asking our local government units to issue executive orders and local ordinances or resolutions prohibiting karaoke and videoke this season,” said DILG secretary Epimaco Densing.

In previous months, some new COVID-19 cases in places like Quezon City were traced to videoke parties that were held during Metro Manila’s general community quarantine (GCQ).

Karaoke and videoke bars, among many entertainment spots, still remain closed in the country.

“For a change, let us opt to have a solemn celebration with joyful Christmas songs from our favourite artists played on radios or online music platforms,” said DOH secretary Francisco Duque.

“When we are talking, we are emitting respiratory droplets – these increase when we are singing or shouting. This is why we’re requesting citizens to avoid karaokes for now.”

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As of writing, the Philippines has recorded over 443,000 cases. Several parts of country are still under community quarantine.

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