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Elderly devotees urged to skip Traslacion; hypertension most common emergency.

The Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MMDRMO) expects fewer cases of medical emergencies in this year's Black Nazarene procession, but they advised devotees to always be cautious of their medical condition before joining the hours-long parade.

MDRRMO administrator Jhune Tolentino on Monday evening told that the most common case of medical emergency they encountered so far is hypertension or elevation of blood pressure.

'The most common case with regards to the medical cases is hypertension, due to exhaustion, brought about the elevation of blood pressure kasi struggling eh and early this afternoon napaka init pa, so that's the main cause of the shoot up,' Tolentino said in an interview.

As of writing, Tolentino said the MDRRMO has attended to a total of 39 male and 14 female patients, including for injuries like blisters, punctures, and aberrations.

Devotees who passed out were being brought to the medical tent along Quezon Boulevard in front of the Quiapo, and being discharged after regaining consciousness and stable condition.

Tolentino attributed the lower number of medical emergencies this year to a more effective campaign by the Department of Health and the Manila city government.

He advised devotees to keep themselves hydrated by drinking a lot of water, and bring their own medicine if they have a medical condition.

Tolentino also urged elderly participants to skip the hours-long procession. Millions of devotees struggle in the Traslacion to get near the centuries-old ebony statue of Jesus Christ to kiss the image or wipe their towels on it, believing that it is miraculous.

'Dito pa lang ina-advise na namin sila na instead of going to the procession, they might as well go to the church para makapagdasal sila and lesser tao pa. 'Yun naman ng essence of this event, it's their spiritual belief na dapat nakukuha nila,' Tolentino added.

Tolentino said the MDRRMO is expecting to attend to more patients as the procession nears the Quiapo Church.

The annual grand procession, the single biggest religious gathering in the predominantly Catholic Philippines, commemorates the first parade transferring the centuries-old image of Jesus Christ from a church in Intramuros to the Quiapo church on Jan. 9, 1767.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Jan 9, 2017
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