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Church calls for aggressive approach vs Zika virus

MANILA, Feb. 6, 2016— The Church’s health ministry has joined efforts in raising public awareness about the Zika virus and ways to prevent its spread in the country.

Camillian Fr. Dan Cancino, executive secretary of the CBCP Commission on Healthcare, said they have started the work with people living in mosquito-prone areas.

“We started it (awareness drive) in areas vulnerable to Zika virus. These are actually the same population that are vulnerable to dengue,” Cancino told Radio Veritas.

Local health officials are bracing for a likely outbreak of the virus as the mosquito-borne disease spreads to more countries.

The Health department on Wednesday said the country was still free from the virus and assured it can handle cases of Zika virus.

Cancino urged the government to adopt a more aggressive approach to thwarting an outbreak that is widespread in the Americas.

“Our appeal to the Department of Health is to [widen] awareness on the Zika virus. Although this is something new, there are still many people who are not aware of it,” he said.

While there is no specific treatment or vaccine to prevent Zika virus, health officials said prevention is still the key which should start from everyone’s backyard.

The priest said it all boils down to controlling mosquito populations and eliminating places where they lay eggs like water containers in and around the house. (R. Lagarde/CBCPNews)

Tarlac diocese to receive Nazareno replica

MANILA, Feb. 5, 2016 – The Quiapo Basilica Minore will be gifting the Diocese of Tarlac with a replica image of the renowned miraculous statue of the Black Nazarene.

The formal turn-over is set for Feb. 13, in time for the First Sunday of Lent.

Expressing sentiments of devotion, Tarlac diocese chancellor Fr. Melvin P. Castro said in an interview: “One of my very first statues that I treasured is the small of statue of the Black Nazarene.”

The Black Nazarene replica is scheduled to visit different parishes of the Diocese of Tarlac during the whole Lenten season and will be at the San Sebastian Cathedral (Tarlac City) for the Holy Week.

Tarlac Bishop Florentino F. Cinense, who requested for the image, has appointed Castro to be custodian of the image. (CBCP News)