In its preparedness for the annual Traslacion, the Department of Health (DOH) today reminded devotees who are not feeling well to seek immediate help from any of the fourteen medical teams deployed along the route of the procession during this religious feast held every January 8-10.
Every year, the DOH deploys medical teams from its various Metro Manila hospitals to assist participants in the January event that commemorates the transfer (hence, the term Traslacion) of the Black Nazarene image from Intramuros to Quiapo Church (also known as the St. John the Baptist Church or Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene), where it has stayed since 1787.
Aside from the DOH teams, other medical teams will be deployed to the event by organizations such as the Philippine Red Cross, the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, and volunteer groups.
“All DOH hospitals will be on ‘Code White’ alert status, which refers to the readiness status of hospital manpower such as general and orthopaedic surgeons, anaesthesiologists, internists, operating room nurses, ophthalmologists, and otorhinolaryngologists, to respond to any emergency situation,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III declared, adding that emergency health service, nursing, and administrative personnel residing at the hospital dormitories are also placed on an on-call status to enable immediate mobilization.
Likewise, the DOH Operations Center will be on 24/7 monitoring to facilitate any additional support that may be needed by the deployed teams. The DOH-NCR Regional Health Office will establish a communication post Quiapo Base for quick assistance.
The DOH advises the expected 18-20 million devotees (PNP estimate) participating in the procession to bring enough drinking water to avoid dehydration, to wear comfortable clothes and protective footwear, to bring raincoats or ponchos in preparedness for rain, and to bring hats, fans, and handkerchiefs in case it becomes hot and sunny during these outdoor activities.
People on medication are advised to bring their medicines along with them especially those with chronic asthma, hypertension or diabetes. People who are sick, or pregnant, or with severe medical conditions, are advised to take extra precautions or opt to forgo the activity altogether. Devotees are also advised to refrain from bringing infants, young children, and the elderly to the procession to avoid injury. Participants are also encouraged to have an identification card with them that states who to contact in case of an emergency, one’s blood type, history of allergies, or existing medical condition.
“We appeal to devotees to take care of their health if they are joining the Traslacion. Should you feel any symptom of sickness or suffer an injury as may happen in large crowds, go to our medical teams who are ready to help.” the health chief reiterated.