MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) has urged Catholic devotees who flocked to Quiapo Church on January 9 to undergo self-isolation, and to avoid public places to prevent the possible spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The DOH said Traslacion attendees should self-quarantine and monitor themselves for any symptoms of the viral respiratory disease following concerns that the mass gathering could become a potential super-spreader event.
“The DOH further advises those who attended the Traslacion to minimize interactions, especially with the vulnerable members of their household, and to conduct active self-monitoring for any symptoms,” the department said in a statement.
It also reiterated its reminder for anyone who experiences symptoms of COVID-19, especially devotees who physically went to Quiapo, to immediately coordinate with their respective Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams for appropriate management and referral.
The health department also called on local government units to actively monitor their constituents who participated in the event for early detection of possible COVID-19 cases and limit transmission.
The department made the call after some 400,000 people attended the religious event in Quiapo Church and nearby areas despite the threat of the COVID-19.
As seen in photos, some of the attendees were not even properly wearing face shields, and social distancing protocols were not strictly followed in some activities.
According to Dr. Tony Leachon, former special adviser for the National Task Force against COVID-19 and the former president of the Philippine College of Physicians, the religious event should not have been held as this clearly violates the protocols on mass gathering and social distancing measures amid COVID-19 pandemic.
Events that become a potential super-spreader event is different from a usual gathering as this could result in high number of COVID-19 cases. It is also difficult to discount the possibility that someone infected with the virus may have joined the event and infected many.
The organizers of the feast earlier discouraged devotees from attending Saturday’s event as they could join the activities online. They also cancelled the annual procession, popularly known as Traslacion due to the continuing COVID-19 threat. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines — The Manila Police District (MPD) announced that violators of health and safety protocols during the commemoration of this year’s Traslacion will face arrest.
Authorities said they will practice maximum tolerance in dealing with devotees and will remind them to follow safety protocols including wearing of footwear. Several devotees are known to go barefoot when visiting Quiapo Church during Traslacion.
The Manila Public Employment Office will also distribute face masks to devotees if they are not wearing one.
The MPD said they will resort to arrest if devotees will continue to practice unruly behavior such as refusing to abide by the minimum health and safety protocols or if they are caught doing petty crimes such as snatching.
The MPD added that they will deploy personnel around the area to monitor the devotees.
Minors, aged 15 and below as well as senior citizens, will not be allowed in the area.
Despite the cancellation of the massive procession due to the COVID-19 pandemic, authorities still expect devotees to travel to Quiapo Church.
Devotees are also encouraged to commemorate Traslacion in the safety of their homes to avoid the further spread of the COVID-19 virus. AAC
MANILA, Philippines — The grand procession of Manila’s annual ‘Traslacion’ set for January 9, 2021 will no longer push through due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Manila City government and administrators of the Quiapo Church have agreed to cancel the procession for the first time to ensure that public health protocols will be implemented on the day of the event.
The annual Traslacion is highlighted by a gathering of millions of barefoot devotees lining up to join the procession of the Catholic image of the Black Nazarene from the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta to the Quiapo Church in Manila.
“Nakikisuyo po ako, iwasan po muna natin ang mga parada at prusisyon ngayong may pandemya dulot ng sakit na COVID-19. Maaari pong mapahamak ang ating mga deboto, mailagay sila sa alanganin,” Manila City Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso said, noting that public health protocols must prevail over religious traditions as COVID-19 remains a threat to the nation’s capital.
[I ask that we refrain from holding parades and processions during the pandemic caused by COVID-19. Devotees might get sick and their lives placed in danger.]
“Maging conservative po tayo sa paggunita ng mga prusisyon. There are things that we cannot control pero pwede maiwasan. Kung libo-libo ang pupunta sa prusisyon, isa lang sa kanila ang maimpeksyon, tapos magkakadikit-dikit pa sila, pinagpapawisan, nagkakalat na droplets ng laway, delikado po iyan,” he added.
[Let us be conservative in observing the procession. There are things that we cannot control but we can prevent. If thousands of people will join the procession, it only takes one infected person in the middle of a tightly packed, sweaty crowd— with saliva droplets all over the place—for things to take a dangerous turn.]
Meanwhile, Quiapo Church rector Monsignor Hernando Coronel said that more masses will be held for the image’s devotees while stressing that the public must adhere to the health protocols set by the government.
“Yung physical distancing, kailangan naka-faceshield, naka-face mask, kasama ang regular monitoring ng body temperature, lahat ‘yun susundin natin. Hindi lamang ito sa loob ng simbahan, pati na rin sa labas,” Coronel said.
[Physical distancing, wearing of face shield, face mask, along with regular monitoring of temperature — all of these will be implemented. Not only inside the chapel but even outside.]
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