The National Capital Region Police Office said that it observed violations of health protocols for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) during the Black Nazarene feast.
Brig. Gen. Vicente Danao, NCRPO chief, said most of the violations observed was on physical distancing, as thousands flocked to Manila’s Quiapo district from the early morning.
He estimated the crowd to be between 35,000 to 40,000, from 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. at Quiapo.
In an radio interview, Manila Police District director Brig. Gen. Leo Francisco said that there were over 300,000 devotees before 8 a.m. along Quezon Boulevard and another 100,000 devotees gathered along Palanca Street, which initially made it hard to enforce social-distancing measures.
Meanwhile, netizens gave mixed reactions on this year’s Black Nazarene feast held amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Haissssst tigas talaga ulo, di ba nga sa Diyos ang awa sa tao ang gawa. May virus pa ei (How hard-headed. As the saying goes, ‘Mercy comes from God but it is up for the people to act. The virus is still around),” Nora Guiao said in her post as a reply to a purported photo of a huge crowd in the vicinity of the church.
Another netizen, meanwhile, said devotees can still put their faith in action with care.
“Hindi naman nila mapipigilan yung mga tao kasi mga nananampalataya at mga deboto yan, tradisyon na yan e. Tibayan nalang nila pananalig nila at sana may panlasa pa sila paguwi nila (they cannot control that because that is their belief and they are devotees, that is their tradition. Just keep their faith and I wish they are still okay when they go home),” Bianca Full said in her post.
Some netizens also believe that authorities did their part in reminding the public about the pandemic and to observe the minimum health safety standards.
“Hindi na nagkulang sa paalala ang gobyerno, panalangin na lang natin na walang magka Covid (The government did not remiss in reminding the people, let us just pray that nobody contracts Covid-19),” Jholand Mangilaya said. SOVEREIGNPH