MANILA - The Philippine Red Cross on Wednesday said it gave medical assistance to 478 people during the first few hours of the Traslacion, an annual procession of the Black Nazarene statue where millions of Catholics risk life and limb.
Of the total figure, 348 individuals underwent blood pressure monitoring, PRC said in a 10 a.m. update, 5 hours after the procession started.
Eight were "major cases" of laceration, difficulty of breathing and dizziness, the humanitarian organization said.
Another 118 suffered difficulty of breathing, fainting, punctures, abrasion, bruises, laceration and toothache; while one devotee needed psychosocial intervention and 3 were rushed to the hospital, said PRC.
The mammoth crowd hustling to get near the Black Nazarene, believed to have miraculous powers, has swelled to 1.3 million as of 10 a.m., the group added.
The procession is expected to take 24 hours to weave through the streets of Manila and return the 400-year-old ebony statue to its home at Quiapo Church from the Quirino Grandstand.