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IATF: Cemeteries closed for Undas due to COVID-19 threat

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IATF: Cemeteries closed for Undas due to COVID-19 threat
Filipinos pay a visit to their loved ones in this undated photo
The Freeman

MANILA, Philippines — The pandemic task force has ordered the closure of cemeteries across the country this Undas still due to the threat of COVID-19.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said the latest pronouncement would be from October 29 to November 2. 

In the taped weekly meeting of the task force late Tuesday night, he said it would also cover memorial parks and columbariums and not just cemeteries. 

"The public can visit these places on other days, just not during this period," Año added in Filipino. 

During visits before or after Undas, the interior chief said cemeteries are allowed only up to 30% capacity, and should strictly followed the government's minimum public health standards. 

Local governments would be tasked to implement these measures, Año continued, along with the Philippine National Police as well as barangay (village) chiefs, public safety officers, and auxillary units. 

"LGUs also need to pass an ordinance or executive order to see this is carried out well," he said in Filipino, "to ensure the public will be safe this coming Undas."

Metro Manila mayors have earlier agreed on a resolution restricting entry to cemeteries also during the said days. 

In San Juan,  the local government has reopened its online booking for visits to Filipinos' departed loved ones. 

Thousands, if not, millions of Filipinos flock to cemeteries annually to commemorate All Souls' Day. 

But this year would be the second time cemeteries would be closed due to the threat of the pandemic.

The Philippines has tallied over 2.73 million coronavirus cases, along with 40,972 deaths as of October 19. — Christian Deiparine

ALL SOULS DAY CEMETERIES UNDAS
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