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HomeHealthLocal COVID task force might discuss Holy Week procession cancellation, govt. doc...

Local COVID task force might discuss Holy Week procession cancellation, govt. doc favors move

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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.

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TIRED FEET get some rest as these little children hitch a ride on a carroza during the 2011 prusisyon in Bacolod City. | Photo by Juliud D. Mariveles

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.

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DEBOTO SANG NAZARENO. A devotee of the Black Nazarene brings a statue of her patron all throughout the close to three-kilometer procession. This image, was taken April 22, 2011 during the Santo Entierro procession in Bacolod City. Church traditions, such as this one, can draw in crowds where “healthy carriers” can easily blend in. | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

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.

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CHO spokesperson Dr. Grace says the cancellation of the procession might be discussed next week.

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.

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A BLOODIED JESUS after the scourging by Roman soldiers, a scene acted out in the Kalbaryo play of the San Vicente Ferrer Parish in the village of La Granja, La Carlota City in central Negros Occidental taken 2013. Events like this one are usually crowd-drawers, which could potentially spread the disease. | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

Local task force head El Cid Familiaran, the vice mayor here, also told DNX he is keen on discussing the possibility of a suspension.

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JESUS BEING NAILED TO THE CROSS | A scene during the Kalbaryo in La Granja village, La Carlota City, Negros Occidental. This yearly event draws thousands from nearby villages and other parts of the province. The image was taken in 2013. | Photo by Julius D. Mariveles

He said the health and safety of people is of greatest importance now in the face of the disease’s continued spread.

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Julius D. Mariveles
Julius D. Mariveles
An amateur cook who has a mean version of humba, the author has recently tried to make mole negra, the Mexican sauce he learned by watching shows of master chef Rick Bayless. A journalist since 19, he has worked in the newsrooms of radio, local papers, and Manila-based news organizations. A stroke survivor, he now serves as executive editor of DNX.
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