The Department of Health (DOH) has reminded the public to celebrate the Black Nazarene Feast in a safe manner amid the ongoing threat of the Covid-19 virus.
“We remind all to be responsible believers as the regular celebrations of Thralathion and the Feast of the Black Nazarene begin this year 2023,” the DOH said in its advisory.
“The DOH reiterates that we must self-assess our risks. This is to protect not only ourselves, but our loved ones and the communities we belong to.
The DOH has urged believers to participate in various activities only if they are vaccinated and have a boost against Covid-19.
Vulnerable groups such as the elderly, immunocompromised, and pregnant women were encouraged to show devotion in their homes.
“If you have flu-like symptoms such as fever, sore throat, cold or cough, it’s best to stay home and quarantine for your safety,” the DOH said.
“The department continues to encourage all Juan and Juana to celebrate through ‘localized’ online gatherings to help prevent the spread of Covid-19,” it added.
Devotees should also bring extra masks, umbrellas, extra clothes and towels, and hygiene kits.
“Be aware of your surroundings and belongings to prevent malicious activity and reduce the spread of the virus,” DOH reminded.
“Continue to use protective layers known to be effective not only against Covid-19, but also against other epidemics,” he added.
On Saturday, January 7, some devotees began going to the Quirino Grandstand to participate in seeing and touching images of the “Pagupupgay,” or Black Nazarene. The event runs until the actual feast on January 9th.
As of noon on Saturday, the Quirino Grandstand had an estimated attendance of 3,150.
A procession called “Walk of Faith” will also be held in the early hours of January 8.
These two activities have replaced traditional ‘Pahalik’ and ‘Traslacion’ events to minimize the risk of Covid-19 transmission.
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