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PH Red Cross to deploy over 1,000 volunteers for Traslacion 2024

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) will deploy over 1,000 volunteers and multiple emergency services vehicles to provide medical assistance to participants of the Black Nazarene procession in the City of Manila on Jan. 9.

According to Luisito Santos' report on Super Radyo dzBB, PRC chairman and CEO Richard Gordon said over 1,000 of its first aiders, emergency response unit personnel, and emergency medical teams will be deployed for the Traslacion, or the procession of the Feast of the Black Nazarene.

At least 10 PRC first aid stations will be set up along various points of Traslacion route from Quirino Grandstand to the Quiapo Church. Six teams of foot patrollers, meanwhile, will serve as mobile first aiders.

The PRC will also set up an emergency field hospital near the Kartilya ng Katipunan shrine in the Ermita district, which will boost the onsite healthcare capacity to be provided by the Department of Health (DOH) and the Manila Disaster and Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO).

Moreover, the PRC will preposition 17 ambulances, a fire truck, two rescue boats, and an amphibious vehicle at strategic areas in Manila starting Sunday, or two days ahead of the procession.

PRC Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang said 20 additional ambulances will be arriving from Central Luzon and CALABARZON for standby medical services.

Some two million devotees were earlier expected to join the Traslacion. However,  the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) on Friday said the number of participants in the Feast of the Black Nazarene activities prior to this year's procession has been lower compared to pre-pandemic levels despite the relaxed health restrictions.

The DOH has placed all of its hospitals in Metro Manila on code white alert starting Friday, Jan. 5, until Jan. 11, Thursday.

Under the code white alert, identified medical personnel and staff are on standby for the immediate acceptance and treatment of incoming patients at hospitals.

The DOH usually declares the code white alert during national events, holidays, or celebrations “that can potentially cause mass casualty incidents or emergencies.”

The department said eight health emergency response teams, each equipped with ambulances, will be deployed along the Traslacion route to provide emergency medical services to devotees.

GMA News Research data showed that from 2016 to 2020, crowd estimates during Traslacion were around 1.5 million to 3.1 million.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday said it has not monitored any serious and credible threats regarding the Traslacion.

The traditional Traslacion was not held in the past three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. — VDV, GMA Integrated News