Wakes limited to immediate kin during Luzon lockdown, says PNP

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 22 2020 01:13 PM | Updated as of Mar 22 2020 01:24 PM

Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- Wakes are among banned public gatherings in the Philippines' most populous island region of Luzon during the 1-month long lockdown to stop the spread of the 2019 coronavirus disease, police said Sunday.

Only the immediate family of the deceased and ministers or officiants are allowed to attend wakes based on guidelines provided by the government inter-agency task force leading the country’s response to the pandemic, PNP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said.

“Wala pong mangyayaring lamay. Mahigpit pong ipinagbabawal ngayon sa ilalim ng ating enhanced community quarantine ang pagkakaroon ng lamay. So, tayo man ay nakikiramay of course sa mga namatayan, pero hindi talaga maaari na magkaroon po ng gathering, pag iipon-ipon ng mga tao para iburol o para doon po sa lamay,” he said in a televised press briefing.

(There will be no wakes. Wakes are banned under the enhanced community quarantine so even if we are condoling with bereaved families, we cannot allow mass gatherings for wakes and burials.)

The government earlier clarified that establishments offering funeral services should remain open throughout the lockdown period since these are needed by the public. Employees of such establishments are also exempted from the lockdown.

Luzon was placed under lockdown until April 12, which meant strict home confinement in all households, suspension of transportation lines, regulation of provision for food and essential health services, and heightened presence of uniformed personnel to enforce isolation procedures.

The Philippines is in a state of public health emergency over COVID-19 that has spread out of its origin, China, to more than 160 countries and territories since it was first detected late last year.