It looks like it’s a no-go for cinema-goers for now. For the first time since the start of the community quarantine, cinemas and arcades were given the green light to resume operations starting March 5. However, due to the sudden surge of COVID-19 cases in the country, the mayors of Metro Manila have agreed to once again temporarily suspend their operations.
According to the Inquirer.net, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos confirmed that Metro Manila mayors have come up with this consensus during a meeting on Saturday, March 6. Abalos also said that a resolution is now being drafted for the suspension of operations of cinemas and arcades.
This may come as a blow to a lot of Manilazens who miss enjoying movies on the big screen, but this decision was for the best. Why? The average number of new COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila from February 26 to March 4 went up to more than 900, 50 percent higher than the week before.
The Department of Health also disclosed that there has been a record number of SARS-CoV-2 variants among all regions in the country, with 29 cases of the United Kingdom variant, and 45 cases of the South African variant. Both variants are scientifically proven to increase the transmissibility of the virus and to make matters worse, the South African variant might potentially affect vaccine efficacy.
Given the slow rollout of vaccines as well as the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the country, this decision was made for the welfare of Filipinos. Looking at the bigger picture, it is best to sacrifice a little while longer rather than risk exposure to the virus. Someday, Pinoys will get to watch movies in the movie theaters again. Until then, Netflix and chill is still the way to go.