Archdiocese of Manila suspends public masses amid medical groups’ ECQ appeal

By: Katrina Hallare - Reporter / @KHallareINQ - Inquirer.net | August 02,2020 - 06:33 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The Archdiocese of Manila will suspend all public religious activities from Aug. 3 to 14, in response to the call of health workers to place Metro Manila under the the more stringent enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) status anew due to rising coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

The announcement was made by Bishop Broderick Pabillo in a pastoral instruction on Saturday.

“All churches and shrines under the Archdiocese of Manila will revert to the period of the [enhanced community quarantine] ECQ protocols,” Pabillo said.

However, Pabillo noted that all online religious activities will continue.

“We will also use this time to evaluate our church response to the pandemic and see how we can improve them,” Bishop Pabillo added.

“We understand that they call for this not only for their own respite, though they truly need one,” the bishop added.

“We echo their call that each individual and each family take seriously the health protocols to keep safe, such as the proper use of face masks, the required physical distancing, the frequent hand washing, and not going out of the house unless truly necessary.”

Members of various medical groups on Saturday appealed to the government to place Metro Manila under ECQ status anew for two weeks, saying that the period will serve as a “time out to recalibrate the government’s COVID-19 strategies.”

Palace spokesman Harry Roque then said that the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases will study the concerns of health workers.

The Philippines has far logged 98,232 COVID-19 cases, with 65,265 recoveries and 2,039 deaths.

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