Bataan bans mass gatherings, religious activities

Bataan bans mass gatherings, religious activities

BALANGA CITY, Bataan – The provincial Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) here has prohibited the holding of mass gatherings, including religious activities, in all the 11 towns and one city effective on Monday.

Governor Albert Garcia, IATF chair, said the group decided to arrest the growing number of Covid-19 infections in the past week.

The latest report of the Provincial Health Office (PHO) showed there are 420 confirmed Covid-19 cases, out of which 147 are active, with 12 deaths.

Dr. Rosanna Buccahan, PHO chief and co-chair of IATF, said the task force has yet to decide until when the ban will be imposed.

The almost daily rise in Covid-19 cases was reportedly traced to a religious gathering held in a hotel in this city. The event has resulted in more than 40 coronavirus cases.

Garcia said the provincial IATF is convincing religious leaders to temporarily resort to other means of showing devotion to God without the need to pray together or converge in big groups.

“Ang hakbang na ito ay naglalayong mapigilan ang pagkakahawa-hawa ng mga tao at upang hindi masyadong dagsain ang  mga pagamutan ng mga pasyenteng may Covid-19.  Sa pamamaraan man lang na ito ay maibsan ang pagod at bigat ng tungkuling nakaatang sa mga health workers at frontliners (This measure aims to prevent the spread of infection and to prevent overcrowding of hospitals with Covid-19 patients. Through this way, the fatigue and heavy tasks of the health workers and front-liners would at least be eased,” the governor said.

In response, Bishop Ruperto C. Santos has announced that the doors of all churches in this province will again be closed to the public and Holy Masses will again be celebrated through a live stream from August 4 to 16.

“Our battle to defeat this virus is very challenging and still a long way to go. We must act, make a move, and step back. This means that we stay at home, avoid crowded places, and stop mingling with others,” he said.

Santos also said they will dedicate the celebration of the Holy Eucharist every Wednesday to all the medical front-liners, especially in Bataan.

He said at the end of the Holy Mass, the “Prayer for the Healthcare Workers” which he composed, will be recited. Ernie Esconde /PNA –