Isko Moreno to Black Nazarene devotees: Restrictions to curb COVID-19 spread | Inquirer News
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Isko Moreno to Black Nazarene devotees: Restrictions to curb COVID-19 spread

/ 01:22 PM January 05, 2022
Black Nazarene COVID

Quiapo Church Photo: Manila Public Information Office (Facebook)

MANILA, Philippines — Manila Mayor Isko Moreno is appealing for the understanding of Black Nazarene devotees as he clarified that the strict measures being implemented by the city government aim to prevent crowding during the Jan. 9 Feast of the Black Nazarene amid the rising COVID-19 cases.

During a press conference on Wednesday, Moreno urged devotees as well as the general Catholic faithful not to visit the Quiapo Church in the meantime, and just pray on their own.

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“Muli nananawagan ako, let’s just pray, magdasal tayo, sama-sama ang pamilya, magdasal tayo sa loob ng bahay, manalig tayo sa Diyos, Diyos ang kailangan natin ngayon.  But at the same time, habang pinupunan natin ‘yong ating pangangailangang ispiritwal, bilang tao naman eh magiging responsable naman tayo sa ating sarili, sa ating pamilya, at sa ating komunidad,” he said.

“Ako naman ay naniniwala naman ako na kayo ay mga responsableng indibidwal pa rin, bagamat mas talagang sa hirap at pagsubok na pinagdadaaanan natin ngayong panahon na ito, alam ko umaangkla na lamang tayo sa ating pananampalataya sa Diyos,” he added.

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Moreno said he thinks God will understand why the Black Nazarene procession or the Traslacion is suspended for the second year in a row.

“Pero naniniwala ako na ang Diyos, at ang Poong Nazareno, ay nauunawaan naman tayo bilang tao, at ang ating sitwasyon.  Ipanalangin na lamang natin ang ating sitwasyon, ang ating mga mahal sa buhay, ang ating siyudad, ang ating bayan,” he noted.

At the start of his press conference, Moreno said COVID-19 cases in Manila have risen sharply — now at 990 active cases compared to just around 70 to 90 before the holiday season ended.

“Meron tayong mga malalaking event ayon sa ating kostumbre at mga kapistahan, it’s going to be challenging weeks ahead of us, with regards to the influx ng tao sa Maynila, ‘yong ating Poong Nazareno saka ‘yong ating Sto Niño.  Let me begin by telling you that since yesterday, meron na tayong 990 na COVID-19 cases sa Maynila (as of) 12 o’clock,” Moreno said.

“From a regular 70, 90, about four, five days ago, talagang bumulusok ‘yong dami ng impeksyon at nakikita naman ‘yan sa buong Pilipinas, ‘yong patuloy na paglago ng COVID-19 infection, mabilis na paglago, at dahil dyan we have conducted some measures, the way we did it last year,” he added.

Earlier, Moreno announced that the Quiapo Church will be closed to the public on Sunday, January 9, or on the Feast of the Black Nazarene.  This means that the Traslacion of the Black Nazarene’s image, along with in-Church Masses will be suspended.

Aside from that, a liquor ban will be enforced in the city to prevent crowding, with Moreno stressing that no exemption will be made this year regarding drinking in public areas.

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Aside from Manila, the whole National Capital Region is under Alert Level 3 after a sharp uptick in COVID-19 infections was observed.  As of Tuesday, the country’s active COVID-19 infections swelled to 29,809, after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 5,434 new infections.

READ: PH posts 5,434 new COVID-19 cases; 611 recoveries

The increase came after a relatively low number of daily cases before the holidays — ranging from 300 to 500 with the active case count down to below 10,000.

/MUF

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TAGS: COVID-19, COVID-19 surge, executive order, Liquor ban, Manila, Mayor Isko Moreno, Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, Omicron variant, Philippine news updates, Quiapo church
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