Duterte warns the public of another lockdown if COVID-19 cases continue to rise
In a public briefing last night, the President said returning to the “original program” is possible if infection rises
May 20, 2020
In a public address last night (May 19) President Rodrigo Duterte warned of a possible return to enhanced community quarantine if the number of coronavirus infections continue to increase as more areas are slowly reopening.
“Kung babalik tayo sa dati, if the contamination will be as fast as before and it will continue to infect ’yung nakalabas na, then we’ll have to just go back to the original program,” said Duterte in a late-night address.
He warned of this after saying that the country is in the process of gradually relaxing public movement and precautionary measures explaining, “Itong mga lugar na hindi pa binuksan, which are under the modified lockdown, ito ’yung nakita namin na talagang kailangan para hindi lalala ang sitwasyon.”
The race to a vaccine
Thereafter, he brought up that a pharmaceutical company called Moderna is already in the process of creating a vaccine against the disease. While it has reportedly yielded positive results so far, Duterte also said that the problem is that it will be released by January 2021 at the earliest.
He then urged COVID-19 patients to resist death until then, saying, “So kung ganon, wag ka sanang mamatay hanggang January. Hintayin mo ’yung vaccine, ’pag tinawag ka ng kamatayan, sabihin mo ‘P******** mo umalis ka dyan, may hinihintay akong vaccine!’”
Many countries might be close to discovering one, especially China, he said. “I think China has already won. I’m just waiting for the announcement.” In that case, he said, “Kailangan may pera ako niyan, kasi bili agad tayo.”
In the meantime, he asked the public to just follow the directives regarding face masks and social distancing. “The loosening of the restrictions does not mean wala na ang COVID. It will remain with us until such time na nabakunahan tayong lahat,” he said.
He also encouraged parents to get their children vaccinated and employers to provide ideal working conditions like well-ventilated spaces that are constantly disinfected.
On SAP to 5 million families and NCRPO Chief Debold Sinas
An update regarding the cash aid was also brought up. According to the President, the government is prioritizing five million families that weren’t included in the cash assistance program, clarifying, however, that the country is short of tax collections.
Almost at the end of his briefing, he talked about Metro Manila police chief Major Gen. Debold Sinas’ issue. Sinas, based on photos of his birthday celebration posted on Facebook, was seen accepting roses from his guests, blowing candles on his birthday cake while his guests were drinking without observing physical distancing.
[READ: OK, so what is a “mañanita”?]
Duterte said he will not order Sinas relieved, calling the top Metro Manila cop an “honest” and “good” officer.
“Itong kaso ni Sinas, ako ‘yung ayaw na malipat siya. He is a good officer, he is an honest one. Hindi niya kasalanan na may mangharana sa kanya sa birthday niya. Kailangan ko ’yung tao. Mas kailangan ko ’yung tao dito sa trabaho niya.” The President said Sinas will stay in his official post until further orders. “Sabi ‘the law is the law.’ Well, akin na ’yun. He stays there until further orders.”
Duterte ended his address by listening to a song which he deemed should describe “what we feel for the moment.” The song, written by a friend of his who he refused to identify, had the following lyrics:
“Kung magkaisa ang lahat,
Hihilom ang sugat
Ikaw ang bantay sa lagusan
Protektahan ang mga mamamayan
‘Di uubra ang mga susuway, mga kriminal, at pasaway”
President Rodrigo Duterte ended his Tuesday night public address by playing a song which he said captures what the Filipinos are feeling amid the COVID-19 pandemic.#coronavirus#covid19ph
Posted by INQUIRER.net on Tuesday, May 19, 2020
“Mga kababayan ko, I hope na maski na papaano we were able to convey, napaabot namin ang mensahe ng gobyerno sa inyo,” he added.
Header photo courtesy of the Malacañang
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