Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Wednesday urged residents who attended the Black Nazarene feast to undergo free coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) tests from the city government.
She called on residents showing COVID-19 symptoms after participating in the celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene in Manila last Saturday to have themselves checked.
“As a precautionary measure, we encourage our residents who attended the celebration to have themselves immediately checked for COVID-19 in our testing centers for free,” she said.
Based on reports, about 500,000 devotees flocked to Quiapo church and nearby areas to attend the 15 Holy Masses celebrated in lieu of the traditional Traslacion or the procession of the Black Nazarene that was canceled to avoid the spread of the virus.
“We cannot just set aside the possibility of having contracted the virus due to the presence of too many people. It is best that we are sure of not infecting our family and those from our community,” she said.
The city mayor earlier requested the Manila Police District for a list of Quezon City residents who signed the health declaration forms so that the city government could endorse them to their barangays for monitoring.
Dr. Rolly Cruz, City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit chief, advised those who attended the event and are now showing COVID-19 symptoms, such as influenza and cough, to coordinate with their village officials.
“The barangays then will refer them to the nearest testing sites and health centers where they can undergo free COVID-19 testing,” he said.