QC to conduct contact tracing after crowd swells for Willie Revillame’s birthday

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 28) — Worried Quezon City officials are tracking down people who joined a crowd that swelled outside the studio of TV host Willie Revillame, forgetting physical distancing reminders in hopes of receiving cash on his birthday.

Throngs of fans trooped to Wil Tower along Eugenio Lopez Drive from Wednesday to early Thursday morning. Although Revillame did not announce that he will distribute money outside the studio, the crowd still gathered despite the COVID-19 pandemic, hoping the host will push through with his tradition of giving back to fans during his birthday.

Mayor Joy Belmonte on Thursday said she will coordinate with Revillame's staff to track down the massive crowd. She added they will be encouraged to undergo COVID-19 testing.

"The crowd swelled when money was being given out. I will ask his chief of staff to submit the names of their beneficiaries for contact tracing," she told CNN Philippines in a text message.

Belmonte said she informed law enforcers of this possibility after she was warned by the TV personality that his fans could troop to the studio. She said she will ask Quezon City Police District Director Police Brigadier General Danilo Macerin to explain their failure to control the size of the crowd.

"Gusto ko malaman sa kanila kung ano ang nagawa bakit may mga reports ang media na hindi nagkaroon ng crowd control, etcetera. So I will have to get their side," the mayor said.

[Translation: I want to hear from them why there are media reports that there was no crowd control. I have to get their side.]

Meanwhile, the Department of the Interior and Local Government said whoever is behind the incident will be held responsible.

"Then si mayor naman tinap niya na yung pulis to further investigate, para malaman kung meron ba talagang violation, either si Willie o yung mga organizers... We will investigate," DILG Officer-in-Charge and Undersecretary Bernard Florece told CNN Philippines' News Night.

[Translation: The mayor already tapped the police to further investigate, so we can determine if there is really a violation, either it's Willie or the organizers.]

Quezon City has a total of 30,009 COVID-19 cases, with 1,184 currently battling the disease.