MANILA - The Philippine Red Cross on Tuesday reminded devotees to stay hydrated throughout the annual Traslacion, as dehydration is among usual problems participants experience during the hours-long Black Nazarene procession.
The ceremonial return of the image of the Black Nazarene to the Quiapo Church every January 9 sees millions of devotees either scrambling to get close to the carriage or enduring about 20 hours of walk behind it.
"Usually we encounter dehydration problems," PRC chair Sen. Richard Gordon said as he encouraged devotees to bring their own water bottles.
"We have water stations along the way... Puwede kayong makiinom sa Red Cross (You can get a drink at Red Cross stations)," he said, noting that there are 13 Red Cross first aid stations along the procession route.
An emergency medical unit equipped with personnel who can facilitate emergency child birth, basic surgery, laboratory and in-patient observation will also be set up, the PRC said in a statement.
Data from the PRC showed nearly 1,700 people sought medical assistance during the 21-hour Traslacion in 2019.
The Department of Health (DOH) has placed at least 16 hospitals under code white alert to ensure that medical personnel and medical supplies required to address the needs of Traslacion participants are in place before the actual event.
The DOH has also deployed 14 response teams along procession's route to provide medical service alongside Red Cross volunteers.