BACOLOD CITY – The local task force on the COVID-19 might discuss the possibility of recommending the cancellation of the annual Holy Week procession amid the COVID-19 threat.
To the head of a government-run hospital here, however, where infected persons are being confined, a suspension is needed amid the declaration by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte of a public health emergency.
Julius Drilon, medical center chief of the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital, told DNX he favors the move, saying it can prevent the spread of a disease especially when there are “healthy carriers” who could blend with the crowd.
A healthy carrier, he explained, is a person who has the virus but does not show signs and symptoms but could spread it to others.
Physician Grace Tan, the group’s spokesperson told DNX they might discuss this in their regular meeting next week.
Tan said the health department had been calling for, among others, “social distancing” as part of measures to arrest the spread of thr virus that has so far infected 33 people inside Philippine borders as of 11 March 2020.
Thousands of devotees flock the streets here and elsewhere in the country, in a public march that usually peaks in attendance on Good Friday when the crucifixion of Jesus Christ is reenacted.
Local task force head El Cid Familiaran, the vice mayor here, also told DNX he is keen on discussing the possibility of a suspension.
He said the health and safety of people is of greatest importance now in the face of the disease’s continued spread.