MANILA - Cemeteries in the Philippines will be "most likely" closed during the observance of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, or Undas, due to the coronavirus pandemic, an official of the national COVID-19 task force said Tuesday.
This, after Manila Mayor Isko Moreno announced that the city will close cemeteries from October 31 to November 3 to prevent the possible spread of the novel coronavirus.
National Task Force (NTF) COVID-19 spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said in an interview that there's no announcement yet but due to the familiar tradition of Filipinos flocking to cemeteries for Undas, the country probably will close them temporarily for health and safety reasons.
"Wala pa pong announcement kasi hindi pa iniisyuhan ng polisiya, pero malamang po 'yan ang mangyayari," Padilla told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo, saying physical distancing and mass gathering should always be implemented anywhere.
"To avoid building up people in certain localities, lalo na ho dito sa Undas, malamang 'yan ang lalabas na polisiya."
Padilla advised the public to visit their deceased loved ones "ahead of time."
As of posting, the Philippines has 241,987 confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 52,893 are active. The total number of recoveries is at 185,178 while the death toll in the country is at 3,916.