Quiapo Church Asks IATF To Increase Allowed Capacity For Religious Gatherings

Quiapo Church asked IATF-MEID to increase the allowed capacity for religious gatherings.

Quiapo Church was asking the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) to increase the allowed capacity for religious gatherings.

This, after devotees of Black Nazarene flocked to the Quiapo church yesterday morning.

Quiapo Church IATF
Photo: Philippine Star

The traditionally-large first Friday crowd had drawn the attention of the Philippine National Police (PNP), which issued an appeal to Black Nazarene devotees not to flock to Quiapo Church in order to prevent the transmission of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Parochial vicar Fr. Douglas Badong said that Quiapo church was big enough to accommodate more devotees inside, but the prevailing protocols under the general community quarantine (GCQ) only allowed a few of them to enter the church.

As such, Black Nazarene devotees gathered outside the entrances of the Quiapo church, violating health protocols including the physical distancing.

READ ALSO: DOH Logs 2,611 Newly-Reported COVID-19 Cases In PH

Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, the deputy director for administration at the Philippine National Police, said that it became difficult for police onsite to enforce minimum health protocols due to the number of people.

In a text message, Eleazar said that the PNP appealed to the Black Nazarene devotees to attend mass in their respective communities instead of going to Quiapo Church.

However, Badong appealed his case, saying that the Quiapo Church was pleading with the IATF to, perhaps, increase the allowed capacity in order to decongest the crowd outside the church.

As of this writing, the Department of Health had recorded a total of 316,678 COVID-19 cases in the Philippines.

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