By Erma Edera
This year’s procession of the image of the Black Nazarene or Traslacion was “better” and more “peaceful” compared to previous years, the head of the Manila police said.
Manila Police District chief Supt. Vicente Danao, Jr. said no major untoward incidents and deaths were recorded during the procession of the image of the Black Nazarene on Jan. 9.
“Only one pick-pocketing was recorded and the suspect was apprehended,” Danao said.
The procession lasted for almost 21 hours, or 40 minutes shorter than last year. In 2018, the procession lasted 22 hours and 19 minutes.
It began at 5 a.m. on Wednesday at the Quirino Grandstand and the image of the Black Nazarene entered Quiapo church at around 2:21 a.m. on Thursday.
“One of the reasons probably is during the take-off of the image, initially the police pulls the image, then it was properly turned over to the volunteers,” he said.
He added that the travel time from the starting point of the procession going to the Manila Hotel was cut short from four hours to one hour and thirty minutes.
For 2019, there were 846 reported injuries, with at least 714 patients who sought medical assistance.
As of 7 a.m., the Philippine Red Cross said that 1,613 patients sought treatment for various medical emergencies.
Of this number, 62 devotees suffered from major cases such as difficulty in breathing, laceration, dizziness, body weakness, and trauma caused by blunt objects.
Four were transported to the hospital due to hypertension, fractures, deformity and chest pain while 603 patients suffered from minor cases such as fainting, sprains, burns, muscle spasms, bruises, laceration, etc.
Seven hundred forty-seven patients had their blood pressure monitored and 197 devotees sought psychosocial support.