Devotees urged to commemorate the Feast of the Black Nazarene at home due to COVID-19

The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday urged devotees to instead stay at home to commemorate the annual tradition of the Black Nazarene due to the existing threat of COVID-19.

This came in a statement made together with the Quiapo Church and the Health Professionals Alliance against COVID-19 (HPAAC).

“Kung maaari po, hindi tayo dumagsa sa simbahan ng Quiapo; kung maaari tayo ay magdasal bilang isang pamilya sa loob ng ating mga tahanan,” said Rev. Msgr. Hernando Coronel of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene or the Quiapo Church.

“Marami rin pong mga parokya sa National Capital Region at kalapit na mga probinsya na nagdiriwang ng novena at fiesta masses kaya hindi naman tayo kailangan talaga pumunta sa simbahan ng Quiapo,” he added.

He said that despite cancelling the Traslacion this year they are still expecting an influx of people due to the image viewing of the Black Nazarene.

Coronel also said they have already coordinated with the local government of Manila City to ensure that strict measures are in place.

Dr. Anna Ong-Lim of HPAAC further explained that if people will not adhere to this call, it could be a cause for a ‘superspreader event’ where more people may get infected.

She said this was even made more dangerous by the concern behind the mutated variant of the virus which is more infectious.

With this, the DOH also urged families to instead attend online masses which are hourly available at the Facebook page of Quiapo church and to always observe minimum health standards when going out of the house.

At present, the Philippines already has more than 480,000 cases of COVID-19 with total deaths reaching 9,347.

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