Mayor Isko Moreno suspends Holy Week activities in Manila

Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso (PIA NCR file)

CALOOCAN CITY, March 20 (PIA) -- To curb COVID-19 trajectory, Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso over the weekend informed the public that all Holy Week activities in the city will be suspended.

The mayor made this clear in a radio interview with DZBB Super Radyo.

The religious holiday commemorated by Catholics—which starts on March 29 this year—traditionally includes rituals and customs such as the penitensya, Visita Iglesia, and caridad. Due to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in Manila, Domagoso said it was only logical to prevent large public gatherings that could easily turn into superspreader events.

"Ang importante sa Semana Santa, 'yung relasyon natin sa Diyos sa panahon kung saan siya nagbayad ng dugo para sa ating mga kasalanan. Magnilay-nilay tayo," he pointed out.

The mayor added that the city can't afford to take any more chances because its six district hospitals—the Ospital ng Sampaloc, Sta. Ana Hospital, Ospital ng Maynila, Gat Andres Bonifacio Medical Center, Justice Abad Santos Memorial Medical Hospital, and Ospital ng Tondo—were already experiencing feeling the strain.

"Mga kababayang nakikinig sa Maynila, itong anim na ospital ay nakakaranas na ng alarming rate sa kanilang occupancy. Sapagkat kahapon ng alas-dose ay umabot na po tayo sa 55 percent occupancy rate. Two months ago, nasa 27 percent to 32 percent 'yan," he said.

Domagoso said that the City Government of Manila will continue to strictly enforce health protocols and implement granular lockdowns. In fact, this week, six barangays are under a four-day lockdown: Barangay 185 Zone 16 (Tondo 2); Barangay 374 Zone 38 (Sta. Cruz); Barangay 521 Zone 52 (Sampaloc); Barangay 628 Zone 63 (Sta. Mesa); Barangay 675 Zone 74 (Paco); and Barangay 847 Zone 92 (Pandacan).

"If you violate the lockdown we put you in a quarantine facility and you need to be tested. Maraming nag-violate sa first day but as we progressed nabawasan na nang nabawasan. Malaki yung ibinaba," Domagoso stated. "Mabigat sa loob ko 'yung hirap na inaabot ng tao sa lockdown. But we are sure about our rules. Ganun din sa violators ng curfew."

In light of this, Domagoso said that, as much as possible, he didn't want to implement a citywide lockdown. He reminded the public not to believe any of the rumors or fake news alleging that the entire City of Manila will be on lockdown.

"Huwag po kayong maniniwala sa chismosang kapitbahay ninyo. Lagi lang ninyong tingnan ang aming mga Facebook accounts. Verified naman 'yan. Doon po kayo kumuha ng impormasyon. At tinat'yaga ko naman araw-araw na magkaroon ng live broadcast," he emphasized.

The mayor added, though, that if ever there is a need to implement a citywide lockdown then he won't hesitate to do it.

"Kung kinakailangan maprotektahan naman ang general population, tayo po ay hindi mangingiming mag-lockdown," he said. (PIA NCR)



Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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