Black Nazarene devotees in Quiapo area reaches 400,000 amid pandemic

Devotees of the Black Nazarene observe strict health protocls and physical distancing while attending Mass outside the Quiapo Church on Saturday (Jan. 9, 2021). (Philippine News Agency photo)

PASIG CITY, Jan. 10 (PIA) -- Local authorities on Saturday said close to half a million devotees flocked to Quiapo Church in Manila and nearby streets to attend the mass celebrations honoring the Black Nazarene Feast on Jan. 9 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of 9:30 a.m., based on estimates by the Manila Police District (MPD), a cumulative crowd of 400,000 individuals continued streaming into the area and this posed a challenge to local authorities to enforce the one-meter physical distancing rule.

MPD Chief Police Brig. Gen. Leo Francisco, however, assured that the police, Manila City Government officials, and contingency fielded in by the Armed Forces of the Philippines' Joint Task Force National Capital Region were doing their best to ensure that health protocols were observed amid warnings that the Black Nazarene festivities may become a COVID-19 super spreader event. 

“Along Quezon Boulevard alone, mahigit 300,000. Sa Palanca naman mahigit na 100,000 na,” MPD Chief Police Brig. Gen. Leo Francisco said.

“Ang crowd ay sumusunod naman,” he emphasized.

Francisco has not yet updated the figure, but added it may reach half a million by midnight. 

As of 9 p.m., police authorities said there were still around 8,250 devotees at the Quiapo area adhering to health protocols and physical distancing rules. (PIA NCR) 

Source: Philippines Information Agency (

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