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No crowding allowed in wakes, burials – Eleazar

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The number of people at wakes and funeral rites should be limited in compliance with the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine, a ranking police official said on Tuesday.

During the Laging Handa briefing, Joint Task Force Corona Virus Shield head, Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said only the immediate family as well as priests, pastors or ministers are allowed to attend the wakes of their deceased relatives.

“We are aware of the culture and religion of the people but the situation now is different. We are preventing mass gatherings. In wakes, we cannot avoid gathering of people,” Eleazar said in Filipino.

Several bishops across the country have suspended public masses and other Holy Week activities and urged the faithful to tune in on events that are televised or can be viewed via live streaming.

Funeral services are considered essential and are allowed to continue operations during the quarantine period under the guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte placed the entire Luzon under an enhanced community quarantine which strictly requires residents to stay indoors and limit movement to accessing basic necessities.

Those exempted are uniformed personnel, health workers, emergency and other mission-critical services, and media personnel with accreditation from the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO).

The country is currently under a state of public health emergency and a state of calamity due to the coronavirus disease 2019 which was first detected in Wuhan, China. (PNA)

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