Philippines: Authorities to close Manila cemetery to tackle COVID ahead of All Saints holiday

Philippines authorities will close Manila North Cemetery to prevent mass gatherings and the spread of coronavirus during the All Saints' Day public holiday on Thursday. People living inside the graveyard and last-minute visitors could be seen on the premises on Wednesday. Police forces and SWAT units padlocked the graveyard in line with the government's orders leaving some of its inhabitants worried. «We don't know where to get our daily food especially tomorrow they will lock down the cemetery. My husband's work is outside so how can he go to work if they lock us?» explained Jasmine Reyes a cemetery resident. All Saints' Day is usually marked by celebrations and family gatherings in cemeteries in the Philippines. Numerous poor families live inside graveyards in the country. Manila North Cemetery is the oldest and largest cemetery in the Philippines with an expansive 54 hectares (133 acres) and it is home to an estimated 6,000 slum-dwellers from 800 families.

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