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It would have been better not to organize St Demetrius pilgrimage, given pandemic conditions (Bucharest mayor-elect)

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Nicusor Dan

Bucharest General Mayor-elect Nicusor Dan opined on Thursday that given the special conditions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, it would have been better if the pilgrimage of St. Demetrius, celebrated by the Orthodox Church on October 26, had not been organized this year, according to AGERPRES.

"Unfortunately, on St. Demetrius's Day, when most people come on pilgrimage, I will not be mayor in office yet, so the responsibility for that day, and for the protocol that was signed, falls to the current mayor, Gabriela Firea. We are all a community, of course there is a need for religious communion for many of us, but in this exceptional situation, where there is a danger of the spread of this disease, we must all be reasonable and responsible and be able to respect all the rules that the specialists impose. This pilgrimage of St. Demetrius, this year, it would simply have been better not to have been organized," Nicusor Dan told private broadcaster B1 TV.

He pointed out that the number of people who will attend such an event cannot be predicted.

"It is a good thing that the procession has been canceled, but it is not possible to predict. If you say that there will not be more than 500 people at one time, you cannot predict that 3,000 people will not come at some point, people who will wait, because they will not be able to enter, and then from 3,000 there will be 5,000 and we will have this type of stampede," said Nicusor Dan.

The pilgrimage of Saint Pious Demetrius the New (October 27), the Protector of Bucharest, will take place this year under the conditions of the state of alert, from Sunday to Tuesday, the event can be attended only by the faithful of Bucharest, the spokesperson of the Romanian Patriarchate, Vasile Banescu declared on Thursday for AGERPRES.

Subsequently, the Romanian Patriarchate specified that the holiday will take place this year in conditions of maximum precaution, order and protection, under the sign of rigorous observance of the hygienic-sanitary norms, imposed by the state of alert.

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