Amid Covid-19 lockdown, gov’t bans public Holy Week services anew in Metro Manila, 4 provinces
A Catholic priest celebrates Mass in an almost empty National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Baclaran, Parañaque City on March 24, after the government prohibited mass gatherings, including worship services, in Metro Manila and nearby provinces amid Covid-19 surge. PHOTO COURTESY OF BACLARAN CHURCH
Public religious gatherings will be again prohibited in Metro Manila and nearby provinces after the government placed the areas under the strictest enhanced community quarantine.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the ECQ takes effect throughout the Holy Week, starting on Holy Monday, March 29, until April 4, Easter Sunday.
He said the decision was made to stem the surge of Covid-19 infections in the Greater Manila area.
Under ECQ, as previously imposed, mass gathering is prohibited, including public church services.
“Pinagbabawal po natin ang lahat ng mass gatherings, pati po yung pinayagan nating simba bawal na po muli,” Roque said in a press briefing on Saturday.
While weddings, baptisms, and funeral services are allowed, he said that only a maximum of 10 immediate household members can participate.
The government imposed ECQ in NCR and surrounding areas from mid-March to mid-May last year, ordering non-essential workers at home to contain the spread of Covid-19.
Metro Manila and the provinces of Rizal, Laguna, Cavite and Bulacan are currently under a general community quarantine bubble since March 22.
The Philippines on March 27 reported 9,595 new Covid-19 infections, raising the nationwide count to 712,442.
The active cases in the country increased to 118,122 and the death toll to 13, 159 after 10 more patients died from the disease.
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