The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday shared some tips for devotees of the Black Nazarene who will join the Traslacion on Monday.
Health department spokesperson, Dr. Eric Tayag, advised pregnant women, small children and senior citizens with medical conditions not to join the procession.
Tayag said that devotees should also be wary of injuries they would sustain during the procession -- wounds and lacerations from stepping on pointed objects, as well as bone fractures from losing their balance while walking.
He noted that during last year's procession, two persons died -- one of a heart attack and the other one of a pre-existing liver illness -- while almost 1,000 devotees were injured.
"Senior citizens should first seek medical advice from their doctors, especially those who are suffering from hypertension or high blood pressure," Tayag said, adding that they should bring their medicine with them.
Senior citizens who insist on joining the procession should at least bring a companion, he said.
He also advised devotees not to forget to bring water to avoid dehydration and know beforehand the location of bathrooms where they could urinate.
Tayag noted that while the health department is not discouraging the vulnerable sector from showing their faith in the Black Nazarene so they could receive miracles, healing, forgiveness and good fortune, at the end of the day, it is the devotees themselves who will decide whether or not they would join the procession.
"We are aware that many of them are really determined to go as they seek miracles and rely on the power of prayers," he said.
Tayag said that for their part, they will be placing medical stations in cooperation with various government agencies and partners, such as the Philippine Red Cross (PRC).
For many years, the PRC has been assisting devotees during and after the Traslacion by helping those who got lost or who have lost their companions, cleansing wounds, monitoring the blood pressure of devotees, and even transporting them to the nearest hospitals.
He also said that all hospitals are prepared to respond to any emergency.
Source: Philippines News Agency