In the wake of the recent Feast of the Black Nazarene celebrations in Quiapo Church, Manila, the Department of Health (DOH) has advised those who attended the event “to minimize interactions, especially with the vulnerable members of their households, and to conduct active self-monitoring for any symptoms.”
Dr. Anna Ong-Lim, pediatric infectious disease specialist and member of the DOH technical working group, has said that the recent Traslacion for the Poong Hesus Nazareno might cause another surge of COVID-19 cases in the country.
In an interview with Teleradyo, she advised those who took part in the event to self-quarantine and be observant of possible symptoms. (Read: UP Researchers Develop COVID-19 Symptoms Tracker)
“Kung pumunta ka, well better talaga na mag-self-quarantine… but we know that’s quite difficult. Siguro practical application is huwag na masyadong maggagala para mabawasan ang iyong potential contact,” she said.
Observe Symptoms, Self-Quarantine
According to Dr. Ong-Lim, it is better to be cautious as early as now so that a ‘superspreader’ can be avoided. (WATCH: Filipino doctors give tips on how to navigate the ‘new normal’)
“Ngayon pa lang, magandang mag-ingat para kung may mangyari within the next 14 days, hindi tayo masyadong maraming idinadamay. Kung wala, eh ‘di maganda,” she said.
In order to monitor those who attended the event, the DOH has urged local government units (LGUs) to coordinate with Quiapo Church in securing a list of devotees who went to Quiapo. They also advised the LGUs to actively monitor their constituents who participated in the event for early detection.
This year’s Traslacion saw at least 400,000 devotees attend religious activities in and around Quiapo Church. With 15 Masses (each only allowing a maximum of 400 people inside the church) scheduled from Friday to Saturday, thousands of people flocked outside the church to attend the rites that were shown live on 12 screens. (Read: Traslacion of the Black Nazarene to be Held in NCR, South Luzon)
To ensure that everyone was following health protocols, Manila’s Public Employment Service Office had set up booths around Quiapo where free face masks were distributed. Devotees were also asked to fill out contact tracing forms that were accessible thru online platforms and public assistance booths.
If you were in Quiapo during the Feast of the Black Nazarene celebrations and you happen to show symptoms of COVID-19, kindly inform your Barangay Health Emergency Response Team immediately. For more information, you may visit the DOH website.