MANILA — The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) said Saturday that it treated a total of 1,709 participants in Friday’s annual procession of the Feast of the Black Nazarene joined in by more than a million devotees who walked nearly 20 hours barefoot.
PRC chairman and chief executive officer Richard Gordon said 696 participants were wounded or had abrasions and lacerations as they walked barefoot during the procession.
The wounds of these people were cleaned and given first aid treatment at the health stations put-up by PRC in strategic location in the processional route.
Aside from wounds, the PRC said some participants also suffered difficulty of breathing, dizziness and fainting.
PRC staff and volunteers helped bring 12 persons to the nearest hospitals due to difficulty of breathing and numbness, head injury, bone fracture and dislocation.
Aside from injuries, a total of 924 participants were also monitored of their blood pressure and properly advised on their medical conditions.
Twelve first aid stations and 14 ambulances were established by PRC in the processional route from Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park and Quiapo Church, both in Manila.
More than five rescue boats were also deployed by PRC within Jones Bridge to rescue devotees who may accidentally fall into the bridge at the height of the procession.
Some 500 PRC staff and volunteers assisted the Department of Health (DOH) and organizers of the procession.
It took 19 hours for the Black Nazarene procession to reach the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, popularly known as Quiapo Church.