AHEAD of the reimposition of an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) on August 6, 2021, five dioceses in the National Capital Region (NCR) have ordered the closure of all parishes and chapels under their jurisdiction.
In separate social media posts, the Dioceses of Novaliches, Cubao, Pasig, Kalookan, and Parañaque said there will be no public masses beginning Saturday, July 31, until August 20 in their diocese.
In Kalookan, the Diocese said only virtual religious gatherings shall be allowed from July 31 to August 20.
The announcement was made on the heels of President Rodrigo Duterte’s approval of the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to reimpose ECQ in Metro Manila.
Metro Manila, which has a population of about 13 million, will remain under general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened and additional restrictions from July 30 to August 5.
It will shift to ECQ, the most stringent quarantine level, on August 6 to 20.
Under ECQ, there will be no public transportation and only essential establishments will be open. Only essential workers and authorized persons outside residence may move about the region.
Manila Archbishop Cardinal Jose Advincula, in a radio interview on Saturday, July 31, echoed the call of the national government for the people to do their part in preventing transmission of the highly contagious Delta variant of Sars-CoV-2 by adhering to the minimum public health protocols.
"We must observe strictly the recommended health and safety protocols like checking of temperature, wearing of face masks and face shields, use of alcohol and social distancing," he saidl.
In addition, he said eligible individuals should get vaccinated as soon as possible.
"Let us get vaccinated. Although experts have said it is not an assurance against Covid-19, it will lead to non-serious or non-severe conditions compared to those unvaccinated," said Advincula.
He offered prayers for the protection of the people against the Delta variant.
"We ask You to extend Your hand over us to protect us, especially from harm from the threat that is brought about by Covid-19, especially by this new Delta variant," part of Advincula's special prayer states. (HDT / SunStar Philippines)