The Department of Health has urged those planning to have themselves crucified this Easter to make sure their whips and nails are clean and sterilised.
In a radio interview today (Friday, April 12) DOH Undersecretary Enrique Domingo said: “What is scary is tetanus. The penitent’s wounds — especially those who are going to be crucified — might get infected.
“So we request the local government units to sterilise the nails that will be used because many things could happen if these are unclean.”
Apart from washing wounds with soap and clean water, Domingo said they should also be dressed with antiseptics.
“A penitent should get an anti-tetanus vaccination in advance because this creates antibodies. If the penitent has been vaccinated, a booster shot would be effective,” he said.
Pointing out that the flagellation and crucifixion are performed during the hottest hours of the day, Domingo said bleeding and dehydration could cause “too much stress” on the body.
“If we are not careful this Holy Week, things could get complicated. Let us be cautious against tetanus and dehydration,” he said.
In the same interview Domingo also issued a reminder for children and the elderly not to stay outdoors between 10am and 4pm “to avoid overheating the body”.
Temperatures in the country have risen to as high as 39 degrees Celsius. This week, the heat index — the temperature as felt by the human body — in Dagupan City, Pangasinan, reached 51.7 degrees Celsius.
Domingo said when the ambiance temperature reaches 40 degrees and above, which is equivalent to the highest body temperature during a fever, the body cools itself down by perspiring.
“When our body perspires, we get dehydrated and the water in our body gets depleted. Thus, we need to keep replenishing the fluid in our body,” he said.
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