DOH on ‘code white’ alert for ‘Traslacion’

Hundreds of thousands devotees flock the streets of Manila to await the passing of the 409th Grand Traslacion of the Feast of the Black Nazarene on Saturday (Jan. 9, 2016). (PNA photo by Joey O. Razon)

MANILA — Public hospitals are on “code white” alert from Jan. 7 to 10 as part of preparations for the annual Traslacion, the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday night.

“(This is) referring to the readiness status of the facilities assuring the availability of general and orthopedic surgeons, anesthesiologists, internists, operating room nurses, ophthalmologists, and otorhinolaryngologists, to respond to any emergency situation,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a statement.

Emergency health service, nursing, and administrative personnel residing at hospital dormitories are also placed on an on-call status to enable immediate mobilization.

There are 13 medical teams, which will be stationed along the procession route from the Quirino Grandstand to Quiapo Church. Each team is composed of a doctor, nurse and paramedics from the DOH hospitals in Metro Manila.

The Metro Manila Center for Health Development will also establish a communication post in Quiapo.

Duque advised devotees to bring drinking water and to wear comfortable clothes and shoes.

“We appeal to devotees joining the Traslacion to prioritize their health. Should any one of them feel any symptom of sickness or suffer an injury, immediately consult our medical teams posted in strategic areas,” he said.

Duque urged devotees with chronic asthma, hypertension or diabetes to bring with them their medications, and those who are sick, pregnant, or with serious medical conditions not to join the event.

To avoid injuries, Duque also advised devotees not to bring infants, young children, and the elderlies.

Bringing an identification card with contact and health history is also encouraged for easy coordination with medical volunteers in case of an emergency. Ma. Teresa Montemayor/

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