Faith over pandemic: Thousands of pilgrims gather in Manila

Thousands of Catholic pilgrims gathered in the Philippine capital on Saturday to pay homage to the Black Nazarene statue of Jesus Christ, as health restrictions due to the continuing coronavirus pandemic significantly curtailed the attendance to the event.

Known by its Spanish term, “Translacion”, the annual procession in Manila is considered as one of the world’s biggest shows of Catholic devotion, attracting more than a million people.

But all that has changed this year due to COVID-19, which has so far infected more than 500,000 Filipinos and claimed the lives of almost 10,000 others.

The faithful, wearing mostly red and maroon shirts, gathered before dawn on Saturday to catch a glimpse of the statue as it was wheeled on a metal float around Manila.

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