Task force OKs suspension of Black Nazarene procession in Manila
Updated @ 2:31 a.m., Jan. 5, 2022
MANILA, Philippines — The National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 approved the suspension of this year’s Traslacion – the procession of the Black Nazarene — and other related activities in Manila due to the rise in COVID-19 infections.
The Feast of the Black Nazarene — “one of the most attended annual events in the past years” — is celebrated yearly from Jan. 7 to 9.
“It is expected that a huge number of devotees coming from all walks of life will be participating in the different festival activities,” the NTF said in a statement on Tuesday.
The Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene — more commonly known as Quiapo Church — will be closed from Jan. 7 to 9, the NTF said. There will be no Mass on those dates.
Masses shall be aired online across the country, the NTF said.
The Manila Police District and the Joint Task Force Coronavirus Shield will set up checkpoints and deploy officers to discourage devotees from gathering in the vicinity of Quiapo Church.
Romulo Cabantac, the National Capital Region director of the Office of Civil Defense, was designated as the chief enforcer of guidelines on the celebration of the feast that will be issued by NTF and the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Metro Manila is under Alert Level 3 from Jan. 3 to 15 due to a spike in COVID-19 cases and detection of the more infectious Omicron variant.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Department of Health recorded 5,434 fresh COVID-19 infections, bringing the nationwide case count to 2,861,119.
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