"This is a recipe for a super spreading event," said a health expert.
Held annually in Quiapo, Manila, the “Traslacion” of the Black Nazarene attracts a huge crowd of devotees desiring to pay homage to the life-sized, dark-skinned sculpture of Jesus Christ.
This year, the religious event has gained mixed reactions from the public amid the pandemic. Of course, the Catholic Church and the government had to remind attendees to observe health protocols because of Covid-19. On the other hand, some are saying the gathering can be considered as a “super spreader” and should have instead been cancelled this year.
Thank you Quiapo Church, all members of the Manila Police District and all workers of the City Government of Manila!…Posted by Isko Moreno Domagoso on Saturday, January 9, 2021
Moreover, bags have been banned and people were only allowed to bring water bottles with them.
In the Quiapo Church, barricades were placed around the establishment and attendance was limited to 400 people for the hourly services. Plus they were “required to wear face masks and face shields,” according to a report.
Dr Tony Leachon, former adviser of the National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19, described the event as a super spreader, warning that there will be possible consequences soon.
The doctor also added:
“I believe that the government should have planned well to prevent the mass gatherings to prevent a huge surge given the new strain and the lack of vaccines. I’m afraid that the surge will lead to stricter quarantine classification and affect our economy.
“We know that social distancing violations will lead to [an] increased number of cases. Our faith is not proven by physical presence only.”
As of this writing, the Philippines has reported 487,690 confirmed Covid-19 cases with 9,405 deaths and 458,198 recoveries.
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