Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian said Monday that the local government will test for coronavirus disease (COVID-19)all its residents who attended the celebration of the feast of the Black Nazarene in Manila last week.
Gatchalian said that the leaders of various groups of devotees of the Black Nazare are already “identifying their members” who went to Quiapo Church to hear mass.
“By tomorrow or Wednesday, we will test them. We are taking all precautions so the number of our COVID-19 cases will not spike,” the mayor said over PolitikoTV interview.
This came as Church and other government officials gave a green light to hold masses and allow thousands of devotees to attend them as celebration of the feast of the Black Nazarene despite the pandemic.
“Perhaps, we only have two groups that went [to the gathering]. But not all their members even joined,” Gatchalian said in Filipino.
Gatchalian said they asked their constituents to just celebrate the feast at their homes or by going to their local parishes.
Although some obliged, there were others who did not and still went to Manila. But Gatchalian said they were only few and were “no more than 20.”
“Yung passion kasi ng devotees natin, nasa puso eh… Yung panata na kailangan nilang gampanan taon taon, di mo pwedeng baliin yun eh sa iba. Lalo na yung [iba] na dekada dekada nang ginagawa (For them, it’s their passion. It’s already in their hearts. Their commitment for their devotion, particularly for those who have been doing it for decades, cannot easily be taken away from them),” he said.